Munster coach Stephen Larkham is confident the province can get back to the level of performance they showed against Clermont when they travel to the Sportsground to face Connacht on Saturday.

Munster produced their biggest European performance in years to stun the French side just before Christmas, coming back from 19 points down to hand Clermont a first home Champions Cup defeat since 2008.

The St Stephen's Day clash with Leinster was postponed due to Covid in their opponents’ camp and Munster then made 10 changes for last weekend's 15-10 defeat to Ulster, their first in this year’s Pro14 season.

"Yes. It was a remarkable performance," said Larkham, when asked whether the win in France was proof Munster were progressing.

"We took a lot of confidence out of that game. It wasn’t a game that we got lucky in, it wasn’t a refereeing decision or anything like that. We fought really hard throughout the match.

"We were pleased coming out of that game and it would have been nice to keep that momentum going into Leinster.

"We made a few changes, which probably resulted in our accuracy not being as good as it should have been (against Ulster) but there is still momentum."

No internationals need to be rested due to player management this weekend so the focus will be on making sure that those playing for the first time in three weeks are ready for the intensity of an interprovincial derby.

"It is a bit of a challenge," the Australian told RTÉ Sport. "We had planned for the guys to have that rest last week. We have an important run of games coming up now.

"We have an unusual week with a double day today and tomorrow, on the field, but we’ve planned it out and we expect the players to be back in the form they had prior to the break.

"It was a bit of a shame we didn’t get to play against Leinster, that would have been a final top-up for some of the guys, but the guys that needed a rest, we gave a good rest."

Connacht's surprise win at Leinster cut the gap to Conference B leaders Munster to eight points, halfway through the 16-game season.

Just one team will advance to the final, most likely against Leinster or Ulster, and Larkham admits that there is no room for slip ups this week.

"Connacht played a good game at the weekend and they are second in the table so it’s a massive game for us."

  1. Follow Leinster v Ulster (7.35pm Friday) and Connacht v Munster (7.35pm Saturday) via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and RTÉ Radio 1.