He was hardly going to down tools, but it speaks to the professionalism of Damian de Allende that his form for Munster continues to improve the closer he gets to departing.

Last month, the 30-year-old confirmed he would be leaving at the end of the season, ending his two-year stint at the province.

It remains to be seen if he can cap off his time in Ireland with silverware, but whether or not the province can end their 11-year wait for a trophy, the South African can leave Limerick knowing he's held up his end of the bargain.

When he does, he'll have played 40-odd times across two seasons, the exact number depending on the length of the play-off run Munster make in both Europe and the URC in the next eight weeks.

Looking back through his 35 appearances to date, his best performances in a Munster shirt have generally come on the big days; against Toulouse in last year's Champions Cup, and versus Leinster in the Rainbow Cup, when he ran Leo Cullen's backline in circles at the RDS.

This season he's also delivered in big games, such as the Champions Cup pool games against Castres in Limerick and Wasps in Coventry, as well as recent outings against Leinster, Exeter and Ulster.

International duty and injury have limited him to 11 games this term, but since returning from an abdominal injury in March, he's been at the top of his game.

Of his five Munster tries, four of those have come in his last seven matches, a run of scoring that he admits is by accident rather than design.

"I play rugby to win and that's the main goal. If I score a try, I score a try. If I don't it’s more rewarding to set up a try," he says of his recent eye for the line.

And although he says he's generally happy to do the heavy lifting, he adds his most recent try which closed out the aggregate win against Exeter (below) in the Champions Cup Round of 16 is one of his best memories on a pitch.

"I don’t have a favourite try but the Exeter one was incredible in Thomond Park. The last time I felt energy like that was against Wales in the World Cup semi-final.

"It was exceptional. And if I score in the next few weeks, hopefully I can feel the same energy from the crowd.

"It's been incredible. I’ve never played at a club where I’ve gone to an away game and there’s been more supporters from the away team. When we played against Wasps and Exeter it felt like there were more Munster fans there than the home fans so for me that was incredible.

"It’s the first time I’ve seen something like that and to interact with the fans after those games, it’s always incredible, it’s nice, especially here at Thomond Park, to walk along the field and take pictures with fans at Thomond Park.

"I think things get tough, especially in a team environment, it can be quite easy to point fingers and when things got tough we kept it in the group and we took accountability of it.

"Obviously I came here to play rugby and it was tough when there weren’t any fans at the stadium. Not to say it wasn’t enjoyable but it’s been a lot more enjoyable experience in terms of the atmosphere at the stadium."

Since their Round of 16 win against Exeter, Munster seem to have a spark about them.

Despite the physical and emotional highs of the two-legged win against the Chiefs in the last round, they surprised many when they backed it up with an equally-impressive win away to Ulster seven days later, and arrive into this weekend's Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulouse playing their best rugby of the season.

The mood around the province is far-removed from that of earlier in the campaign, when drama seemed to be catching them at every corner, and the pressure on head coach Johann van Graan seemed to reach unprecedented heights after their New Year's Day defeat to Connacht, a game in which Munster were held scoreless for the final 55 minutes.

De Allende admits the players took a look inwards after that defeat in Galway, and says they have come out the far side of it as a tighter unit.

"I think things get tough, especially in a team environment, it can be quite easy to point fingers and when things got tough we kept it in the group and we took accountability of it.

"It was tough. The toughness started before we went to South Africa, we lost a game against Connacht, which was a very tough game, and it just a bit of frustration.

"But when frustration does creep into a team and you sort it out in the group and you don't let that frustration get out of the group, it helps a lot.

"We've spoken about it numerous times and the understanding of the way we speak about it has helped a lot as well. It's not blaming each other, each making each other better and I think us as a group now understand that.

"Obviously I want to leave here on a high but if that doesn't happen that's just the way things go. It would be unfortunate but I will cherish my time here. I've really loved it."

"We've learned a lot and have a lot to look forward to, but it has been incredible the way guys have moved on from that frustration. Every time there is frustration we just talk about it and get it out of the way, we don't let it linger any more," he added.

At worst, he will have three more outings in a Munster shirt, while should Munster go all the way in both URC and Champions Cup there could potentially be seven more games in the season before the World Cup winner departs for the next chapter in his career.

And while he still believes he and his team-mates can get their hands on a pot between now and the end of June, it's unlikely to define his two seasons in red.

"Yeah, it would be incredible. I obviously signed here to win a trophy but we'll take it week by week. My main focus is just on this week. We have to get through this week to get to the semi-final.

"I would obviously love to leave Munster with hopefully two trophies but we'll focus on this week and let the rest take care of itself.

"Obviously I want to leave here on a high but if that doesn't happen that's just the way things go. It would be unfortunate but I will cherish my time here. I’ve really loved it.

"It was tough when I couldn’t enjoy Ireland properly when I first got here but as the weeks have gone on it’s been a lot better.

"It’s been incredible to play in a full Thomond Park, it was exceptional. I wish I could have played in front of a crowd in a lot more events but that’s just the way life is at the moment.

"Whatever happens, happens, but I'll leave here with a big smile on my face with lots of happy memories that are made here in Munster."

Listen to Munster v Toulouse in the Champions Cup quarter-finals on RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday from 3pm with live updates on RTE.ie/Sport and RTÉ News app