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Keith Earls believes Munster can take the positives from their defeat to Leinster as they prepare to open their Heineken Champions Cup campaign at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.
Munster have won three of their six Guinness PRO14 matches to date but all of those victories have come at home and they face a tricky trip to Sandy Park to take on the Gallagher Premiership table toppers.
Having run in a record nine tries in their 64-7 Guinness PRO14 win over Ulster, the Reds went down 30-22 to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday but Earls was encouraged by their performance against the reigning European champions.
“We are frustrated with ourselves. When you see the amount of chances we created, we were held up over the line twice, a couple of things didn’t go our way, and all the possession we had, we knew Leinster could be unbelievably clinical, which they were," Earls is quoted as saying in the Irish Examiner.
"And that is what we are trying to get to, to be like Leinster, who, when they get chances, score four out of five. That has been frustrating for us. We are working on it.
“Saturday left us both frustrated but also confident, because it is probably the best we have played back-to-back, two weeks in a row, in a long time. Between kicking and running, I think we got the balance right.”
He went on: “Sometimes you lose and you think it is a crisis. But look back at the Ulster game and remember how clinical we were there. Backing it up was great, albeit we didn’t take chances. But we gave the European champions a run for their money and we probably could have won the game.”
Munster travel to Sandy Park to face Exeter Chiefs in the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday, 13 October live on BT Sport 1 on the eir sport pack [kick-off 3.15pm]. Subscribe here
Image: Inpho Photography/Byran Keane