Ronan O'Gara booted three penalties for Munster but they couldn't record an all-important try to secure the win - much to Schmidt's delight.
"The first tribute I'd give is to our defence," said Schmidt. "There were some real defensive leaders out there.
"Some guys were getting off the line and really putting pressure on their players. That kept us in the game and will gave us a little bit of momentum.
"There were things in the game which younger guys will learn from. I know that Dominic Ryan is absolutely delighted to have survived his first Munster clash and that bodes well for the future."