And so, as they return from the south of France today having lost round three of the Heineken Cup they might draw similar comfort from the precious point they garnered from the 19-12 defeat. In fact perhaps, all things considered, they did well to take a point from this tie. Of course they will be disappointed because at 13-12 in the second half they looked like they were in charge and had Ronan O Gara s penalty from half way not dropped short, the outcome might have been different.
Likewise after Castres went 17-12 ahead - thanks to a very dubious penalty award - Munster were under siege on their own line but did superbly well to keep their line intact.
It should be remembered that they came into this game following a little over three hours training together and that might explain their somewhat uncertain conservative first half performance. They certainly upped the ante in the second half and three O Gara strikes left them in a good position to go on and win the game. That they didn t could be put down to a period of pressure in the final quarter when they mauled their way to the Castres line but failed to close the deal, conceding a penalty instead for a clearance which must have given the home side a huge psychological boost.
This was always going to be a mammoth task and arguably the toughest away fixture in their pool. And that s why that bonus point could be crucial in deciding Munster s fate. The good thing is that they have the opportunity to redress the balance straight away when Castres visit Limerick next weekend. That game assumes greater importance now, nothing short of victory will suffice and it would also help if Castres were sent home without any sort of point.