Published: 13:34 | 26/4/21

Van Graan hails Munster belief

Johann van Graan believes Munster turned their belief into victory as they defeated Leinster in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup.

Less than a month after losing to their greatest rivals in the Guinness PRO14 final, the Reds emerged victorious at an empty RDS on Saturday night to end a run of six straight defeats to Leo Cullen's men.

Conor Murray opened the scoring when he crossed over the whitewash in the fourth minutes and the Ireland international was celebrating on the double when he touched down after the hour mark.

Joey Carbery kicked ten points before a penalty try in the 71st minute wrapped up proceedings for the visitors and van Graan was delighted to see his men finally get one over their rivals.

"We had a lot of belief coming into this game, it was important that we took the lessons from the final into this game. Munster v Leinster really matters to us and I think you saw that out there," he told eir sport.

"Certainly the physical side of it, it was a massive fight, two quality sides. We played the PRO14 champions and, like I said, the belief didn't change - we had the belief when we came here for the final - but this was an important game for us.

"We wanted to be constant. We conceded a few penalties but in the last few games we didn't concede a lot of penalties but we did concede a lot of field positions so I thought we defended really well, I thought we put the brake on their pressure and created a lot of opportunities. We had quite a few set piece opportunities in their 22 and we scored a few tries. Leinster are a fantastic outfit and to keep them to three points and zero tries, that hasn't happened in a long time."

While Leinster have one eye on their Heineken Champions Cup semi-final against La Rochelle, Munster can focus on the visit of Ulster to Thomond Park in round two of the Rainbow Cup.

"We have to take each week as it comes, win or lose," he explained. "I thought we played pretty good rugby against Toulouse and just came up short and, like I said, we want to build week on week. This is a new competition and who knows what lies ahead so it was a pretty good result for us tonight."

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