Munster on a winning streak, can it be continued?
As we approach the late stages of the Pro 12 and the semi finals of the ERCC, the Munster men are very much part of the equation, having topped their pool and then downed French giants Toulouse 41-16 in Saturday’s quarter-final, setting up a mouth-watering clash with Saracens at the Aviva Stadium for a place in the final.
The next three games will prove crucial to Munster’s hopes of celebrating silverware this season, so let’s take a look at them.
Battling the Warriors
Fresh from downing Toulouse, Munster welcome Glasgow Warriors to Irish Independent Park, the Scottish outfit having lost their Champions Cup quarter-final to Saracens.
That loss prevented another meeting between the two sides, with Munster having won all three so far this term.
And they will be feeling positive about making it four from four, riding a wave of confidence having not only beaten Toulouse but also having lost just one of their last 12 Pro12 games.
Munster also enjoy playing in Cork and have lost there just twice since early 2013, while Glasgow have not won away in the league in 2017.
However, Glasgow are fighting for a top-four spot and a team with two-time Six Nations Player of the Tournament Stuart Hogg should not be taken lightly.
?IN PICS: Gearing Up For Glasgow – shots from this week’s indoor session at UL, plus we chat with @JackODonoghue8 | https://t.co/qqhBgBgkRw pic.twitter.com/jeRSf0fzwi
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) April 4, 2017
Up for Ulster
After the Warriors clash, Munster welcome UIster to Thomond Park.
And it is likely to be an Ulster side looking for revenge after Munster squeezed past them 15-14 at Kingspan Stadium in October.
On that night man-of-the-match Rory Scannell proved the difference as his 74th-minute drop-goal proved to be the winner.
Munster fans will be hoping for a far easier ride at Thomond Park, but with Ulster currently sat fourth and just seven points behind Rassie Erasmus’ men, any win will do at this stage of the season.
ERCC Semi Final at the Aviva Stadium
Munster’s European prowess will really be put to the test on April 22 as they take on defending champions Saracens after they beat Glasgow 38-13 in their quarter-final.
But Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is preparing his team for the ultimate test at the Aviva Stadium, with a place in the final up for grabs.
McCall said: “I don’t think our players realise what is coming. It’s important they do by the time we get there.”
“I think it’s going to be one of the most special atmospheres anyone has ever played in.
“There is going to be an emotional element to it, and we must make sure we are ready for that and can cope with that.
“It’s going to be a very, very special occasion to be part of, but that’s not enough for us, we want to keep on going in this competition.”