We’re our own worst enemy – Johan
JOHAN Ackermann was left to lament Gloucester’s basic errors after their Heineken Champions Cup defeat at home to Munster.
A 41-15 defeat ended his side’s hopes of reaching the quarterfinals in their first season back in Europe’s top competition.
Highlighting the key differences between the sides, Gloucester head coach Ackermann said: “I think probably the aerial contests and the lineouts.
“We actually had good lineouts, but it was just timing and little things that went wrong and the biggest thing was the defence.
“The stats said we were at the same level of percentage of car- ries and everything, but it’s how strong they were in that defence.
“We had to work very hard. We gave them easy momentum, so we need to up that part – the physicality of the defence – but even when we attack they were very basic and direct, but it worked for them and then they saw the kick space behind and that is something we can look at to exploit more.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Munster. They were so clinical. So basic but clinical and that’s what we need to get to.
“I think we were our own worst enemy and they were good when they had the ball.
“For me, the biggest concern is we speak a lot off the field and we know where things go wrong, but it’s time to fix them on the field.”
GLOUCESTER’S hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup were emphatically ended by a classy Munster at a sold-out Kingsholm on Friday night.
Fly-half Joey Carbery scored 26 points in a wonderful individual display, scoring two tries as the Irish giants showcased a gulf in class between the sides. Munster led 20-3 at half-time with Carberry and Rory Scannell scoring the tries after a Billy Twelvetrees penalty had given Gloucester the lead.
Although Gloucester scored two tries in the second half through Ollie Thorley and Fraser Balmain, the Irish side always responded and scored three of their own through Keith Earls, Andrew Conway and Carbery. It was the most points that Gloucester have shipped in a European game.
The Cherry and Whites were able to exert early pressure as Gerbrandt Grobler did superbly to win the short kick-off before they won a penalty and they opted to kick to the corner instead of the posts.
However, when Gloucester won a penalty 45 metres out 12 minutes in, they called for the tee with Twelveteres giving them the lead, but it was cancelled out by a Carbery penalty after 20 minutes.
Munster went ahead four minutes later as CJ Stander ran over a few tackles and Chris Farrell went close before space opened up for Carbery to cross. The fly-half added the extras and another penalty after 27 minutes to open up a 13-3 advantage.
The visitors scored another try in first-half injury-time. They went over from their 27th phase as Scannell shook off the tackle from Charlie Sharples and powered over. Carbery converted for 20-3 at the break.
Gloucester needed a good start to the second half and they got it, although it took them 35 phases to breach the Munster defence. Ed Slater and Sharples went close before Danny Cipriani floated a pass over the top for Thorley to score, but Twelvetrees then hit the post.
Munster hit back, though, with Billy Holland offloading for Earls to score in the corner, and Carbery added the extras.
Gloucester gave themselves another flicker of hope when Balmain scored from a pick and go with Twelvetrees converting.
But Munster put those hopes to bed pretty quickly as they scored two quick-fire tries, firstly Conway racing onto Carbery’s kick to clinch the bonus-point. The next one came less than 45 seconds after Carbery’s conversion.
After Gloucester won the restart, Ben Morgan’s pass was picked off brilliantly by Carbery, who ran all the way for a try under the posts before adding the conversion to round off the victory.