Van Graan and O’Mahony look ahead to tough trip to the Kingspan

Munster face into another Interprovincial clash on New Years Day when they travel to Belfast to take on Ulster in the Guinness Pro 14.

Johann van Graan’s charges currently lie in second place in Conference A while Ulster are in third spot in Conference B.

Both sides suffered disappointing defeats last time out and captain Peter O’Mahony says that there’s no time to dwell on past results.

“We can’t be feeling sorry for ourselves we have to get back on the wagon and go up the road to Ulster. They’ll be disappointed with their performance last weekend and will be looking for a big performance against us so it’s going to be a difficult place to go and get a win.”

Ulster’s defeat to Connacht came three days before Munster lost out to Leinster at Thomond Park but O’Mahony doesn’t believe that having a couple of days less preparation time will be a hindrance.

“We operate regularly off 6 and 5-day turnarounds, sometimes less. It’s just part of the professional game, we need to get our recovery right and get ourselves right, and sort ourselves out.”

While head coach Johann van Graan tasted his first defeat at the helm on St Stephen’s Day but says his side must reset and look ahead to Ulster.

“Obviously, there’s a big difference between winning and losing, winning is a lot nicer. Now we’ve just got to reset and go back to zero and look at this game (Leinster) learn from it and put it behind us. It will be a big game for us against Ulster on New Years Day.”

Munster fielded almost a full strength side against Leinster last time out but the South African says that he had planned to shuffle his deck for the tie at the Kingspan, no matter the result at Thomond Park.

“There will be quite a number of changes for the game. We said before the Leinster game this is a big block of 5 games. Obviously, I’d love to sit here with the win and say the plan worked but we just need to stick to what we planned for, change our squad quite a bit over the next few weeks and hopefully go into the two European games with our best team.”

Ulster v Munster, January 1st, 5.35pm, Kingspan Stadium.

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Luke Liddy