In the end Munster's season fell apart within two weeks, but the hunger from two semi-final defeats is driving Donnacha O'Callaghan.
The veteran Irish second row heads into his 16th season with Munster facing stronger competition than ever in the engine room for a starting spot.
Long-time companion Paul O'Connell remains influential, with another Ireland international in Donnacha Ryan and Emerging Ireland players Dave Foley and Billy Holland making up the competition.
Munster were defeated in their Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon before losing out to Glasgow Warriors at the same stage in the Pro12 by a single point.
Opening up, O'Callaghan discussed the disappointment of those two losses and the search for a positive outcome.
"It was massively tough. Within 13 days... you're in the hunt for two competitions and then it's all over. You're booking your holidays. But that's the fuel that drives you on," O'Callaghan told the Irish Times.
"You don't want that feeling, you carry it through for the rest of the year. The hunger is there and the want to push on.
"Success? Absolutely, Europe or Pro12. That's minimum requirement if you ask a Munster supporter now.
"They aren't going to say that it would be great to finish top four.
"They're used to us winning and there's been that standard set. You don't get much of a chance of it and you need to be ruthless when you can to pick up what you can."