Bernard Jackman said Munster are "on the way to hitting rock-bottom" after Friday's defeat at Connacht plunged the province into an even deeper crisis.

The 20-11 reverse in Galway was Munster’s third loss in four matches this season but it is the manner of those defeats which has caused the most alarm for former Ireland hooker Jackman.

Ben Healy’s 48th-minute penalty against Connacht is the only second-half score Munster have registered in their past three matches while their set-piece, an area of strength in the round three win over Zebre, fell apart at the Sportsground.

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Bernard Jackman described Munster as a "province in turmoil" on Against The Head and said it is difficult to see any quick fixes for their woes

The concession of two early scrum penalties handed Connacht their first entry into the Munster 22, which led to Mack Hansen's opening try, while they lost a couple of crucial lineouts and were bested at the breakdown.

Speaking on Against The Head, Jackman said: "There is still no element of the game where you would say Graham Rowntree, Mike Prendergast and Denis Leamy will go, 'we’ve made progress there’.

"It’s very average. They’re on the way to hitting rock-bottom. They’ll hope they’ve hit rock-bottom and the only way is up.

"It’s a province in turmoil."

Munster take on the Bulls in Limerick this weekend

Munster sit 12th in the URC table and face a daunting fixture list before the BKT United Rugby Championship breaks for the November internationals.

The Vodacom Bulls visit Thomond Park on Saturday before back-to-back interprovincials against Leinster and Ulster on 22 and 29 October respectively.

Jackman said the province's struggles should come as no surprise and accused those in charge of the club of dwelling on past glories.

"If you look at why Munster were strong back between 2000 and 2010, they had a real identity, the club game, the cities, fans. I think that’s drifting," he said.

"It’ll be fascinating to see how many people go to Thomond Park this weekend to see the Bulls match. It’s a game they need them badly for.

"The organisation got carried away with what they did in the past and took their eye off the present over the last five or six years.

"Empires rarely fall overnight. We've seen this coming. Anyone who questioned it was seen as looking to target Munster. It wasn’t. Good Munster people saw it, external pundits saw it. Now everybody is seeing the after effects.

"This is a well-funded province and unfortunately at the moment I don’t think that squad has the quality the coaches need."

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