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Gaffney Salutes his Men
4 April 2003, 8:57 pm
No one said the route to European glory would be easy, but coach Alan Gaffney has backed his players to bounce back from their latest dose of Heineken Cup heartbreak.
Munster coach Alan Gaffney has backed his players to bounce back from their latest dose of Heineken Cup heartbreak.

Munster's hopes of reaching their third European final in four seasons were dashed by French giants Toulouse, who claimed a thrilling 13-12 victory on Saturday.

In the past four seasons, Munster have now lost two Heineken Cup finals and two semi finals, but Gaffney insists that there is more to come from his team.

"We are obviously very disappointed. The boys have got very close in this competition in the last couple of years, losing two semi-finals and two finals by an aggregate total of nine points,'' Gaffney said.

"It will be difficult, but these guys have got enormous belief in what they do, and there is progress left in us - we have got to move on''.

Munster led most of the match thanks to two penalties and two dropped goals by fly-half Ronan O'Gara , but relentless Toulouse pressure eventually told , and Munster could find no way back.

"Toulouse are a very good team - they are the best attacking side in Europe,'' Gaffney added.

"They have got so much pace and fire power, that they can achieve anything, and when Michalak moved to 10, the game changed - there is no doubt about that.

"We played very well in the first half - we gave it a good shot and we created chances, but Toulouse defended very well.''

Munster skipper Jim Williams added: "I asked the players to give it their all, and I certainly got that from them today.

"At the end, I told the guys that I was very proud of them - I couldn't have asked for more.''

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