Munster players celebrate their 18-12 defeat of Connacht
Munster coach Tony McGahan hailed his side's gritty 18-12 defeat of Irish rivals Connacht that moves them level with second-place Ospreys in the Magners League.
Resting several of their big-name stars ahead of their Heineken Cup semi-final could have been a policy that backfired but tries from Niall Ronan and Scott Deasy as well as eight points from Paul Warwick.
That sets up the Munster machine perfectly for a crucial fortnight in which they face the Ospreys and Biarritz.
And while the majority of the team will be demoted to British & Irish Cup duty against Ulster, McGahan was full of praise for how the mixture of squad and academy players stepped up to the plate.
He said: "It was without doubt our best away performance of the season.
"We knew we had to physically be up front in our defence and that would be a cornerstone of getting a result here.
"The forward pack was pretty first-rate and there were a number of experienced players in the back-line. It was a tremendous show of depth and show of fighting qualities that Munster have."
Meanwhile Connacht's hopes of catching Ulster for the third Irish Heineken Cup spot are still alive with a losing bonus point.
Coach Michael Bradley cited the failure to win the battle of the breakdown as the key factor in their defeat but says his team need to pull themselves together for the midweek visit of Leinster.
He said: "We'll readjust for Leinster. It's a fact of life we have to play in three days' time. We always look forward to Munster and Leinster coming but not in such quick succession.
"I think we started a little slower than Munster did, they got the edge in the breakdown and held it for the entire match and that was obviously critical.
"We weren't able to get quick ball for the majority of the match and found it difficult to go through the phases. It was a disappointing day and that was a big factor in it."
England flanker James Haskell insists he will be pushing as hard as possible to be back from a toe injury in time to make his case for a spot in Eddie Jones' side looking to defend their RBS 6 Nations title next year.