Munster coach Tony McGahan admitted fly-half Ronan O'Gara played a crucial role in their 33-19 Heineken Cup victory over Northampton Saints at Thomond Park.
O'Gara landed 13 points but it was his kicking out of hand that did the damage, using the wind to produce a pinpoint barrage of long-range touchfinders in the decisive final quarter.
"Ronan was fantastic - he was at his best with his game management," he said. "He controlled everything and that was a big part of our game. We needed him."
Paul O'Connell withdrew from the side shortly before kick off because of a groin problem and the Munster captain will continue to be monitored over the coming week.
"Relief is my initial reaction, especially after last week's result. The players were superb. We were very composed," said McGahan.
"The forwards were tremendous as they have been under scrutiny all season.
"Following the loss of Paul we needed to step up to the mark and we did that. Mick O'Driscoll was excellent coming in for Paul."