Munster host Ospreys in Thomond Park this Saturday evening at 6.30pm, in the last round of the RaboDirect Pro 12 series. It is a match that the home side need to in impressively if they are to have any chance of reaching the playoff stages of the competition.
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Currently sitting in sixth place in the table, Munster can’t afford any further slip-ups if they are to remain in contention. Saturday’s opponents are two spots ahead of them in fourth, and there are six points separating the sides. With only the top four sides progressing, the current holders Ospreys will be keen to hold their position and defend their title. This is a must win encounter for both teams, and fans can expect a thriller.
Munster lost to Treviso in Italy last weekend and in truth that probably all but ended their hopes. However, it is still mathematically possible to claim fourth spot, though Rob Penney’s side will need a lot of luck over the next few matches. Ospreys enjoyed an easy 24-7 win over Edinburgh and appear to be peaking at just the right time. However, they did lose to Connacht in the previous round, a weekend that also saw Munster go down to Scarlets. Coming into this tie,the Welsh side appear to have the better form, but they are missing a number of players due to international duty.
Ospreys are missing eight players who are training with Wales , while Joe Bearman and Ross Jones are unavailable due to suspension and seven more, including Morgan Allen, Ben John and Aaron Jarvis, have been ruled out through injury.
Munster have made five changes from the side who suffered defeat against Treviso, including the return of international trio Ronan O’Gara, Dave Kilcoyne and captain Doug Howlett.
Players To Watch
Scott Baldwin has taken his chance with Ospreys and is a player for the future, while the return of Doug Howlett will be eagerly awaited by Munster supporters.
Munster have by far the stronger team available for selection and they should win this game with something to spare. Quotes of 1/3 will not be every backers cut of tea however, and a watching brief is advised.