Munster head coach Johann van Graan bemoaned poor execution and discipline as his side went down to a shock 24-20 defeat to Connacht at Thomond Park on Friday night.
The result means that Munster are no longer in the box seat for qualification for the inaugural Rainbow Cup final next month, which will now be played between the leading European and South African teams.
Benetton remain the only unbeaten side after three rounds and, with only two games to go, Munster must get maximum points and hope other results go their way if they are to have any chance of making the June 19th showdown.
However, Benetton face two tricky fixtures with a home game against Connacht and a trip to Ospreys, while Munster host Cardiff Blues before travelling to Parma to take on Zebre.
Speaking after a very flat performance at Thomond Park, van Graan said:
“Giving them that try straight away from the second-half kick-off was a big moment in the game and look, in terms of discipline, we just couldn’t get into the game, so we will have to go and review that.
"I would like to say well done to Andy Friend because since the two of us have coached against one another, it is the first time that he has got that win. So well done to him.
“We conceded that yellow card and conceded that second try (when Shane Daly was in the bin).
"That is within our control and, in these tight matches, it is a factor. We ended up short and the frustrating thing is we were over that try line twice and those tries could have made a big difference.
“You have got to take that defeat on the chin. We have to review that and move on.”
***See more Rainbow Cup action this weekend with Sharks v Stormers and Lions v Bulls from 11.55am on eir sport 2.