Leinster, who will be in action in South Africa on 23 April against the Cell C Sharks and a week later against the DHL Stormer - face fellow Irish side Connacht in Galway on Friday night in first leg of their Round of 16 clash and their smash and grab win in Limerick will underline just how difficult it is to beat them in any competition, home or away, for opposition sides.

The 34-19 win at Munster’s home ground - the first loss for Munster at Thormond Park this season - moved Leinster 10 points clear at the top of the Vodacom URC standings and made them odds-on favourites for this year’s Championship title.

Coach Leo Cullen brought back eight Irish internationals into the side, and had another three on the bench, and was brimming with pride in the way they responded to a brave Munster effort.

"The big thing is the attitude of the guys coming back in here," said Cullen.

"The lads who were here during the Six Nations played seven games in nine weeks and I thought they worked really well and were improving week on week; so it was great having all those international boys come back in.

"That creates competition. They gelled well together but that is on the back of working hard during the week."

Going into the business end of the season, Cullen’s challenge to the squad to keep their high standards up and reminds them of their loss to La Rochelle last season which ended their European challenge.

"They maybe look back on days when we have come unstuck – La Rochelle last season as an example – it is trying to get ourselves ready when we get into that type of scenario against that type of team, so it is a case of us getting ready for that type of game," added the Leinster coach.

"I'm sure if they had their time back, and they had to replay the La Rochelle match, there are things they may do slightly differently in that game. Everyone wants to be involved in the biggest days particularly now when you see the crowds come back.

"Over the last couple of seasons we have seen games take place in empty stadiums. Now the crowds are back, everyone wants to be involved in big days. For a lot of the younger players who have come through, they have not really been involved in those big days.

"So, in many ways, you have some older guys who want success because when you get to the tail end of your career, you want to have as much success as you possibly can, then you have the younger guys who want their first medal."

While they will start as favourites against Connacht, Cullen still sees room for improvement.

"Some of the defensive bits in the first half were areas where we could improve. We soaked metres a few times. I thought we were much better in the second half; some of the kicking was good because there was a fair old breeze, it was a lot harder for us kicking in the first half for that reason.

"We were much more clinical in the second half in terms of taking those opportunities."

Munster coach Johann van Graan has to contend with an ankle injury to Gavin Coombes, the inspirational No 8 in the side, but conceded his side were just not good enough on the night.

"They were too good on the evening, well done to them," said Van Graan.

"I think we gave away six breakdown penalties in the first half. That gave them access. The first try was a direct result of that."

Van Graan said the two tries scored in the middle of the game was the killer for Munster: "I felt they took the game away from us between minutes 48 and 60 with two very good tries. "We fought to the end. That was never an issue. I thought we played pretty well, but if you give them access, they will punish you."

Munster have a tough trip to face Exeter Chiefs this weekend, with the South African contingent of Jacques Vermeulen and Jannes Kirsten in fine form for the English side.

Ulster, who tasted defeat in both of their South African games, head to Toulouse in a massive clash for Dan McFarland’s side, and the team from Belfast's coach said that despite losing both games, he was massively proud of his team. 

“We’ve come away with one point, but we should have come away with four points. Our performance was deserving of four points,” McFarland said after the loss to the Vodacom Bulls. 

“You want two wins but it is tough out here playing in these conditions. Everything is a lot tougher than it is back home. But, I’m really proud of the way the whole group, the support staff and the players have knuckled down and really worked hard. I believe that will stand to us going forward.

“It puts us in a much more difficult place in the URC, but there are a lot of good teams in the URC and we will all be fighting over those top spots. That makes it exciting.

“The Bulls were a good team today, but overall, I’m very proud of what the guys have done to make sure that we are properly prepared. In my eyes I am very grateful for that.”

In the European Challenge Cup round five, Edinburgh return home from South Africa to host French side Pau in a massively important game for their playoff chances. Benetton host Perpignan, Dragons host Gloucester while Zebre Parma travel to Newcastle Falcons as the other Vodacom URC sides in action in the competition.

Edinburgh captain Grant Gilchrist believes they need to get the travel right if they are to have a successful run in the last part of the season.

“It’s the old cliche but we’ll take it week by week,” he said. 

“We want to do something special this season and make the play-offs in the URC but also get as far as we can in Europe, and that will require a home win on Friday night to get a home tie in the last 16, which will put ourselves in a position where we can go really deep in Europe. 

“We’ll make sure we get the travel right. This training week will be compromised but we’re looking forward to getting back home and playing in front of our own fans on Friday night.”