Johann van Graan was delighted to see his Munster side get their first inter-provincial win of the season under their belts ahead of a massive European weekend.

Munster blew Connacht out of the water at Thomond Park on Saturday night to end their Pro14 inter-pro losing streak.

After Christmas defeats to Leinster and Ulster they took their frustration on the visiting Westerners, winning 39-13.

And now Munster head coach van Graan is full of confidence looking forward to next Sunday’s European Champions Cup crunch pool clash with Racing 92 in Paris

"It was a challenging week to get back on the horse and all honours must go to the players, who came out fighting," said the recently appointed South African, speaking to RTÉ Sport.

"Next week is a massive game in the context of the pool. European rugby is different, Racing have a massive pack of forwards and they’re just behind us in the pool.

"We are going to take two days off, the first days we have had off in three weeks, so we are going to take some time away from rugby. We’ll get back together on Tuesday and we’ll start to prepare for a massive game in Paris next weekend."

Munster top pool four with 15 points, four clear of Racing. They beat the Paris giants in Thomond Park in October and another win is a must in their quest to secure a home quarter-final.

Munster head coach Johann van Graan

They will travel to France in good shape having pulled Connacht apart in the second half.

"Very happy with that, a very convincing win," noted van Graan. "The first few minutes we struggled with our rhythm, but after that we got into it and it was a good 80-minute performance, which is what we were looking for.

"There was a big improvement in defence, I thought, where we had worked a lot on line-speed. Looking forward to next week now.

"We had quite a few opportunities in the first half and I thought one or two scrum penalties went against us when we were in good position, but Connacht are a very good, confident side – just look at what they did the last few weeks.

"But we stuck to the plan, we backed ourselves defensively and we took our chances in the second half.

"We changed in the last 20 minutes – we said we’d keep the ball more in-hand because we wanted to deliver the knock-out punch. We did that pretty well."