Munster director of rugby Tony McGahan admitted Friday night’s defeat to rivals Ulster wasn’t the ideal end to 2011, but it shouldn’t detract on what has been a superb year for the Irish province.
The reigning RaboDirect PRO12 champions are handily placed in the Heineken Cup while still on the coattails of their league rivals despite the 33-17 loss at Ravenhill.
The Ulstermen ran in four tries courtesy of Stefan Terblanche, Ian Humphreys, John Afoa and Ruan Pienaar to leave McGahan’s side third in the RaboDirect PRO12 standings.
But after being dumped out of the Heineken Cup at the pool stages for the first time in over a decade last season, McGahan has called for a sense of perspective going into the New Year.
He said: "I think we would be pretty satisfied with where we are at this point in time, tonight puts a bit of dampener on it but from a Heineken Cup perspective, we couldn't have asked for a better position, although there is still a lot of work to do.
"We need to get back to winning tough games on the road in the RaboDirect PRO12 but I think overall we are in pretty stable position.
"In the second half, Ulster came out with a great intent to play and we were well beaten in the second half with regards to tempo and execution, having thought we were well in it at half-time.
"We did some really good things in the first half but in the second there were too many unforced errors.
"We were in the ascendancy in the scrum in the first half but they came out in the second with more focus and maybe we got a little tired or a little complacent, I don't but the change around in dominance was a concern."