Notwithstanding the fact Munster’s reputation has been built on grinding out results in adversity, the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final victory over Edinburgh was classic back-to-the-walls stuff.

The hosts dominated possession (61%) and territory (64%) and had more than double the offloads and defenders beaten than their opponents, but it was Keith Earls’ try 10 minutes from time that was the crucial score in a 17-13 win.

Little wonder then that scrum-half Conor Murray described it as a "really good" defensive performance.

Tadhg Beirne, in particular, has been a huge addition in that regard this season.

The former Leinster and Scarlets player has been a revelation in red and his work at the breakdown has not gone unnoticed - by supporters and team-mates alike.

"The amount of involvements he seems to have in a game, the turnovers he attempts and gets, it really saves us a lot of the time," Murray says. "We get possession and penalties off that. He’s been a massive part of our game this year."

The form of captain Peter O’Mahony too has been notable. While Ireland have struggled at times in 2019, in provincial action he has been at the top of his game.

"It’s a little competition between them who can get more [turnovers]"

He was the top tackler against Edinburgh (19) – ahead of Beirne in second place (16) and Murray says that the pair are rubbing off on each other in striving for improvement.

"Pete is getting more turnovers than ever. It’s a little competition between them who can get more, that helps everyone else on the field."

With an in-form Saracens looming on the horizon, the sight of Joey Carbery departing BT Murrayfield early was a blow. Replacement Tyler Bleyendaal landed both his kicks, but Carbery is now touch-and-go for the semi-final.

Murray admits he knows little about the extent of Carbery's hamstring injury, but has praised the way in which the out-half dealt with on the day.

"It’s a testament to him to put his hand up and say he was a little bit off. He could have done more damage had he stayed on and tried to be brave. They made a good call by pulling him at the time.

"To have a player fit like that for the semi-final would be great."

Murray was speaking in his role as a PINERGY ambassador

Munster and Saracens meet at the penultimate stage of the competition for the second time in three years and the 26-10 defeat last time out is in the minds of all the Munster players.

The eventual champions ran out comprehensive winners at the Aviva Stadium and while just six players that began against Edinburgh also began the sobering defeat to Sarries in Dublin – Murray was himself injured – it is a good starting point in attempting to plot a route to the final.

"That [2017 defeat] hurt us a lot. We thought we were in that game for a while and they pressurised into making a few mistakes that was too far to chase down ultimately.

"We are in a better place than we were two years ago and hopefully it will be a really close contest.

"Looking at the performances Saracens put in against Glasgow, it was really impressive by them. When you get to this stage of the season, you are going to come up against really good sides in good form.

"They tend to take a lot of their opportunities. They keep the ball for a number of phases and look to wear teams down.

"We have to go there full of belief."