A trophy remains within the grasp of Munster hands after their two-point win at Thomand Park today; the performance, at the same time, was largely disappointing.
After a chastening experience in Coventry, two weeks ago, that prolonged their poor European semi-final record, the Munster men didn't give their fans much cause for optimism as they attempt to win a first Pro14 title since 2011.
Benetton came to Limerick and were perhaps unlucky not to return home to Italy with a surprise scalp. Munster, on the other hand, progressed, though their report cards will be far from unblemished after Monday morning's analysis session.
"We can certainly make huge improvements but we were put under serious pressure"
Peter O'Mahony spoke to Maz after his side set-up a PRO14 semi-final against Leinster at the RDS. #GuinnessPRO14 pic.twitter.com/1atMW7P39g
— eir Sport (@eirSport) May 4, 2019
Munster captain Peter O'Mahony was naturally downbeat after the game and, speaking to Eir Sport, he attempted to pin-point the source of the province's below-par performance.
It was a difficult game. I think Benetton have been one of the in-form teams of the Pro14 this year. This isn't the first time they've come to Ireland and put in a serious performance.
You see with the Italian team how much they're improving and the chunk of players they have from that team. We didn't expect anything but an incredible test match today. And they certainly didn't disappoint.
They took their chances very well - they've some seriously dangerous players, particularly on breaking balls.
We put ourselves into some great positions; we just got to learn to be a little bit more patient at times. Maybe play a phase or two. But I thought they defended very well. We broke them a few times. They scrabbled very well. You know, they're a hungry side; they defended their line, so credit to them.
Munster will now travel to Dublin on May 15 to play Leinster for a spot in the final. The final will then be held seven days later, on May 25, at Celtic Park in Glasgow.