Head coach Johan Ackermann chose to focus on Gloucester's second-half fightback in the 36-22 Champions Cup defeat against Munster rather than Danny Cipriani's first-half red card.

The England fly-half's dismissal in the 28th-minute had a key bearing on the outcome of the Thomond Park encounter with Munster leading 5-3 at that stage.

Cipriani was given his marching orders by French referee Alexandre Ruiz after his right shoulder made contact with Rory Scannell's head in the tackle.

Afterwards South African Ackermann was in no mood to discuss whether or not he thought the sending off was justified.

"I'm not going to get involved in a debate about red cards," he said.


"Before the season started I gave out a full statement to the media back at Gloucester about my opinion about red cards. My view is simple. It is spoiling the game if there is no intent.

"It is not going to change the result. We won't know how we would have fared if we had 15 players. Obviously it is a difficult one to speculate on.

"The biggest positive for me is the fact that the players showed a lot of character, a lot of fight to stay in the contest because it could easily have spiralled and we could have taken 50-60 points.

"The players were just tremendous showing fight and we looked fit and strong during that last 20 minutes."

Munster led 15-3 at half-time and 29-3 by the time they got their 55th-minute bonus point, as man-of-the-match Joey Carbery, who scored 16 points, and Sam Arnold added tries to earlier efforts from Mike Haley and Rhys Marshall.

Andrew Conway also crossed the whitewash but the 14-man Cherry and Whites showed their mettle with touchdowns from former Munster lock Gerbrandt Grobler, Jason Woodward and Ben Morgan.

Gloucester captain Ed Slater said he felt there were a number of "high shots" during the second round match which did not result in red cards.

"The referee said he felt there was shoulder contact to the head [in the Cipriani incident]," he explained. "For him that was enough to give a red card. He is the referee. Whether I agree with it or not doesn't matter.

"I know player welfare is thrown out there a lot. There were a few high shots during the game. I'm trying to work out what makes that one a lot more serious than some of the others. I understand there is a player welfare issue."

Johann van Graan's Munster side, who had Arnold and Stephen Archer sin-binned late on, now hold a two-point lead at the top of Pool 2, ahead of their December double header with second-placed Castres Olympique.

The South African said he was pleased to take a maximum five-point haul from the scrappy, stop-start contest.

Asked if he felt there was inconsistency in terms of how some high tackles were dealt with during the game, van Graan said: "We will have to go and have a look at all those clips.

"Currently the letter of the law states that if you make shoulder contact with the head you are in a bit of trouble.

"We conceded a yellow card [Archer] and the opposition conceded a red card early in the game. There were quite a few high shots.

"I'm very glad about the five points. We will take five points at home in Europe any day of the week. If you told us two weeks ago that we would be sitting on top of the group with seven points we would have taken it."