Munster’s prospects of reaching the play-off stages of this season’s RaboDirect Pro 12 series were dealt a severe blow, with an 18-10 defeat to Scarlets at the weekend.
The Irish province now lie in sixth place, following a second defeat in three games. Munster are only five points off the Scarlets, who leapfrogged the Ospreys into fourth with Saturday’s win, but are now playing catch-up.
As the competition enters the latter stages, the men in red need to up their game and pick up crucial bonus points over the coming weeks.
New captain Mike Sherry said: “It leaves us in a tricky position in the league, but there is still plenty of rugby to play and teams above us to play as well. It is too early to tell if failing to get a bonus-point here will be crucial. We have Treviso next which has been a tough place for us to go in recent years so we won’t take that lightly.”
Ulster currently sit top of the table on 58 points following their bonus point success over Zebre at the weekend. The Irish side are almost certain to qualify for the play-offs, as are their Leinster rivals, who remain third on 49 points.
Munster have 41 points and still all to play for, but supporters will be hoping that the Scarlets defeat was not the one that cost them their place in the latter stages.