Skipper Alun Wyn Jones admitted that Munster's dominance of possession for long periods ultimately proved the difference as they booked a place in the Magners League Grand Final with a win over the Ospreys on Saturday evening.
Giving his view on the match, and the season, to members of the media deep inside Thomond Park just 30 minutes after the game had finished, Jones said that while the Ospreys can be proud of certain aspects of their play, both on Saturday and over the campaign as a whole, they will need to up their game next season.
“We are proud of what we’ve done in terms of being the only Welsh team to qualify once again, but we are well aware that our performances in the final third of the season weren’t good enough.
“We finished with the highest points for, the highest tries scored and the most bonus points so we’ve obviously done a few things right along the way this season, but we couldn’t finish things off as we wanted to.
“We wanted to defend our title and we didn’t do that so obviously we are disappointed and hurting, but in the cold light of day we’ve got to another semi-final. It didn’t come off for us, but we can’t lose sight of that achievement.
“When you play away from home it can take you a while to get into it as a team and that was the case today, Thomond Park is never an easy place to visit and Munster made life very hard for us, but we stuck at it and kept on going, and that aspect of our performance was very pleasing, there was a lot of heart on show.
“It was the fifth time we’ve played them this season so we knew what to expect. There was some excellent defence from us early on, but possession told in the end. We weren’t able to put them under pressure until the last quarter and I suppose that’s the story of the day.
“We’ve got to take this on the chin and learn from it. We’re eight years in now and in that time we’ve had four trophies, a Magners semi-final and three European quarters, and I suppose it’s something of a crossroads for us, everybody is aware that there are plenty of changes taking place at the Ospreys at the moment.
“No doubt it’s the biggest ‘outflux’ of personnel, I suppose you’d call it, that we’ve had to experience in our short history, so no doubt people are looking at us, wondering where we go from here.
“There are a few young boys who’ve added to the depth of our squad over the course of the season, they’ve shown that they can help the Ospreys to continue growing next season. With an influx of new players as well, it should be an interesting year for us, but what is important is that we continue working very hard as a group to not only keep on leading the way domestically, but hopefully to also push on in the Magners and in Europe.”