Munster's failure to match Leinster's efforts at the breakdown on Friday night was a cause for concern for the province's new captain Paul O'Connell.
The Heineken Cup champions, who credibly never gave up in their pursuit of a losing bonus point when the game was slipping out of their reach, were given a lesson in rucking and counter-rucking as the hosts put them in the shade at Lansdowne Road.
Not only did Leinster's back row unit of Cameron Jowitt, Keith Gleeson and Jamie Heaslip hoover up any loose ball they could, but skipper Brian O'Driscoll and his centre partner Gordon D'Arcy also came in for praise from the opposition for their performances at the coalface.
Munster did have their moments - David Wallace's try in first half injury-time should have spurred them on to better things - but too few of their frontliners played anywhere near their ability.
Leinster, as a fifteen, were physically immense and their application at the breakdown was crucial to them garnering full points, a notion backed up by O'Connell afterwards.
The Limerick man said: "The key thing was the contest at the breakdown. Your work around the ruck is a measure of a team's intensity and Leinster's was a long way ahead of ours.
"Darce (Gordon D'Arcy) and Drico (Brian O'Driscoll) were getting on the ball so often - they're hard guys to move unless you're there early, low enough and you're aggressive, and we just weren't doing that.
"Those are the little battles you need to win in these games and they were winning them.
"It killed us really. We were unbelievably poor, particularly at the breakdown. We were going to ground too easily and were quite soft trying to clean them out."
Munster have two very important weekends coming up, with a must-win Magners League clash with Edinburgh next Friday and their opening Heineken Cup game, on Sunday week, a tricky trip to Welford Road to face Leicester Tigers.
O'Connell feels Munster will have no problem bouncing back from their defeat to Leinster. They have done it before - last season's loss at the RDS certainly strengthened the men in red's resolve for the second part of their Heineken Cup charge.
"These next two weeks can make or break our season so we have to be hard on ourselves. We have to be harsh on ourselves to improve," O'Connell said.
"We've a massive game against Edinburgh which we need to win to keep our chances in the league alive. And then we've to go to Welford Road for another crunch game. We need to be tuned in for those games but we're a long way off it. It's a bit disappointing that you need a defeat like this to take a look at yourselves, but we will."