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"They do have challenges, jeepers" - Shane Jennings on Munster's need to strengthen significantly


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It was a match with plenty riding on it beyond bragging rights. 

Leinster were aiming for a European Champions Cup and Pro 14 double, while Munster were looking to end a trophy drought running back to 2011.

In the end, it was Leinster who prevailed by a single point in the Guinness Pro 14 semi finals to advance to a decider against a Scarlets side that defeated them in last season's domestic semis.

It means Leo Cullen's side can look forward to that finale, whereas Munster must lick their wounds and rebuild over the summer also without Simon Zebo who has played his last game for the province ahead of his move to Racing 92.

Ex-Leinster flanker Shane Jennings and the Irish Independent's rugby correspondent Ruaidhri O'Connor joined Joe on Monday Night Rugby to discuss both provinces' fortunes over the weekend.

"I think it's very disappointing from a Munster supporters' perspective, for exactly what you said," said Jennings of Ruaidhri's points on some of the on-field issues that emerged on Saturday.

Leinster's Joey Carbery with Simon Zebo of Munster ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

"But also you're talking about Simon Zebo and you talk about he's this special player. By his account, he would have had a very disappointing reflection on that game. He didn't play well. Players who are deemed their leaders, who are their best players, they've got to produce the goods on the day and if they don't, they're just not going to get the results and I think it's really disappointing because Simon Zebo is better and he knows he's better than what he performed at the weekend. And it was probably disappointing for him on a personal level to end with Munster like that after all the good things he's done. And yet on occasion he does things like that pass to Keith Earls which was just pretty exceptional.

"But by in large, the skill level under [Munster]'s own admission, would have let them down."

It's clear Munster will need to strengthen in the summer to close the gap to Leinster. The talk is that Leinster out half Joey Carbery could make the move there rather than to Ulster.

"Munster have an exceptional 10 in [Tyler Bleyendaal]," said Jennings.

"Saying that [Carbery] will go down and he'll change Munster to become winning and this, that and the other, that's just unrealistic of anybody to expect that of them." 

The former Ireland international also gave his take on where Munster really need to strengthen, pointing out more depth in the front row as one area that is required there and in other areas.

"It's strength in depth once you go past that first XV in certain areas, you go, 'You know what? This is where we really need to look at', where the big teams really have the opportunity to impose themselves," he said, contrasting that with Leinster's strength in depth.

"They do have challenges, jeepers. I don't know if I'd like to be on that board to be honest because they do have challenges." 


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