This is the Magners League Final, not a homecoming for the Heineken Cup.

27 05 2011

The view from the South…

To look at this match on paper alone you would have to fancy Munster, in reality this game is going to be tight affair. Munster who had a record-haul of 83 points from the league campaign, the best defense in the league, the best attack in the league, lining out against the Heineken Cup heroes, Leinster.
Munster have only lost three games in the Magners League all season, have won all their home games, yet the bitter taste of being knocked out at the pool stages of the Heineken Cup is what this season will be remembered for by most.
Leinster are riding the crest of a wave after the second-half heroics in Cardiff last weekend. Munster need to watch that first half and take note of the pace that Northampton played at, starving Leinster of possession. Leinster’s big disadvantage is that last Saturday would have taken a lot out of them. Munster need to capitalize on this in the second half when Leinster could struggle.

Head to Head: Big match-ups all over the park, yet again its the match-up between ROG and ‘golden boy’ Jonny Sexton that will take most of the attention. But for me the real match-ups are going to be in the front and back rows. Can the Munster scrum put Leinster under the same pressure that Saints did last weekend?
This is a golden opportunity for some of the fringe-players in the Ireland squad to step up and claim a spot for the World Cup in September, players like Felix Jones and Conor Murray have a golden opportunity to impress Declan Kidney, who will watch most of this game through the cracks in his fingers no doubt! Both teams are due to be announced on Friday lunchtime.

Weather: If the forecast is correct (wet) the game will probably suit ROG kicking for the corners, if it’s dry, Sextons running game could hurt us.

Prediction: If Munster can stay in touch with Leinster over 60mins I can see them winning by a score once all the West-Coast-Cooler celebrations from last weekend catch up with the Leinster boys!

Originally written for thescore.ie
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