McGahan: Much room for improvement
December 18, 2011
Munster fly-half Ronan O'Gara kicks a penalty during the game in Limerick © Getty Images
Munster may have taken a huge step towards the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup on Sunday with a 19-13 win over Scarlets but head coach Tony McGahan revealed afterwards that neither he nor his players were satisfied with the performance.
A try from James Coughlan and 14 points from the boot of Ronan O'Gara saw the province home but McGahan feels that his side, who were forced to dig in late on after the concession of a 65th-minute touchdown to Scarlets replacement Ken Owens, will have to improve enormously if they are to land a third European title.
"We have a lot of belief in what we can do and what we can achieve," the Australian said. "We want to be growing in this competition and taking the game forward each week, especially the way we fought so hard in the previous three rounds.
"Coming here today, we were expecting a more complete performance. The players are disappointed with the performance. We really came here to improve what we have been trying to do. While we got through, we recognise we have a hell of a lot of work to do.
"The big thing for us is to control the scoreboard, but also the clock. We have worked so hard for our points and then let the opposition straight back in with three points, field position, etc. If we have any thoughts of going any further in this competition, we need to make sure we recognise that.
"You need to give the Scarlets credit for the way they came and played. There was a real conviction about how they wanted to play."
Meanwhile, Scarlets boss Nigel Davies felt that a number of questionable calls went against his side after watching his side lose narrowly to Munster for the second weekend in a row.
"We are very disappointed with the result, but very pleased with our performance," he said. "I felt it was a level up from last week.
"It was a game which could have gone either way. There were a couple of key moments, things we didn't get right, a couple of unforced errors which put pressure on ourselves.
"There were a couple of big calls in the game, 50-50 calls which could have gone either way. For a player, this place is inspiring. It can be quite daunting for the officials and you don't get 50-50 calls.
"I think the losing bonus point we picked up is very important - 19 or 20 points will probably see you qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the best runners-up. When you look at the pool at the moment there is still a lot to do, but we are still in with a chance."
The Scarlets remain second in Pool 1 but are now five points behind leaders Munster with just two rounds of games remaining.
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