“Leinster are ahead of us at the moment, but we’re fairly evenly matched.”

The former Australian World Cup winning Fly-half was talking post Munster loss to Leinster at the weekend at the RDS, where Munster lost for a sixth time to a very good side in the Pro 14 final, but Larkham is adamant that Munster aren’t far off, if not as good as Leinster…

“When you make a mistake, you get these thoughts popping into your head about potentially hanging on to that mistake for too long and forgetting about the fact that we are good, we are good enough to win this game. So just that belief in one another, and yourself, more than anything else.”

“Our lineout was good, our ball in scrum was good,” said Larkham. “I think there were a couple of passages where we got what we wanted and there were a couple of individual errors at the end of those. For the majority, the attack passages were good, some individual errors.

“Then, defensively, outstanding scramble. We let a couple of clear and obvious linebreaks go through the middle of us, but the back three scrambled exceptionally well. I thought Keith Earls had an exceptional game on the edge, saving two or three tries down that edge on his own on the back of his scramble mentality.

“And then, if you look at some of those defensive passages, like Leinster are the best team in the competition clearly and they couldn’t get across our try line a number of times.

“We had zero significant passages inside their 22. They did a great job of keeping us out of their 22. Whereas they had significant ball time inside our 22 and our defence kept pushing them back.”

“If you look at it, Leinster had 45 possessions in the game and they made 14 errors with those,” said Larkham.
“We had 36 possessions and we made 10 errors, so it’s like 32% error rate for them and 28% error rate for us.

“So, it wasn’t the deciding factor in the game. Yes, we made mistakes as well, but there are other little fundamentals that we weren’t happy with.

“I am definitely not putting it down to individuals, there were certainly some great passages and some great individual carries and efforts out there on the field that you also need to recognise.”

“They are and I think after a game you’ve got to give credit to the team that played well and Leinster played well, there’s no doubt about that,” said Larkham when asked about the mixed messages.

“We were evenly matched, they just got us on the night. It’s one try between us really that sort of broke our back in that second half. We couldn’t fight back and then they applied pressure in that second half better than we applied pressure to them and, like I said, we’ve been pushing Leinster better than anyone else.

“Leinster are ahead of us at the moment, but we’re fairly evenly matched. If you look at a two-horse race, the odds are not 100/1 against us.”

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