Simon Zebo has said that Munster will be desperate to avoid a fifth straight loss in this weekend's crunch clash with Leinster.
Munster are coming off back-to-back defeats in the Champions Cup to Leicester Tigers, while Leinster have also suffered consecutive losses against Toulon and after a slow start domestically have climbed up to fourth.
Zebo, 25, knows the magnitude of this Sunday's fixture all too well but also believes that overall the gap between so-called bigger and smaller sides in the PRO12 has closed, as both sides look for some form.
“It’s one of the biggest rivalries in rugby. Collectively, obviously, when we’re in the Irish camp we’re all like brothers and friends but it’s the polar opposite when we’re with our provinces,” Zebo told The42.ie
“I think the win is massively important to each side. To lose to them in Thomond Park would be unacceptable and that would go along with four other unacceptable performances that we’ve had so we need to get the win this weekend.
“I think rugby as a whole is so much more competitive than it was in the past. I think everybody is capable of beating anybody these days.
"I don’t think Leinster had a fall from grace — I think they’re a very successful team with great players and I’ve no doubt that they’ll bounce back… but it won’t be this weekend."
Assessing where Munster can improve Zebo highlighted how his side have to do better when it comes to finishing off their opportunities.
“I think it’s being more clinical, and that little extra bit of accuracy. We’re making the linebreaks; we’re just a half a yard too slow or an offload is an inch too low," he added.
“I think once these finer details get ironed out — whatever they may be — we’ll turn into a well-oiled machine."
“There’s a bit of bite at training. People are frustrated as you can imagine. I think the staff have showed enough of their frustration to the side and now it’s up to us to go out and fix that because we’re the ones out there on the pitch playing the games.”