Pro 14: Leinster v Munster Preview

The pick of this week's Pro 14 action is Saturday's Irish derby between heavyweights Leinster and Munster. 

Old foes Leinster and Munster are set to add yet another instalment to their ancient rivalry when they lock horns for the first time in the Pro 14 this Saturday. The two Irish clubs currently sit second in their respective conferences and have both only had the bitter taste of defeat left in their mouths once this season.

So which of these heavyweights will come out on top come the close of this bout? Let's see if we can find out.

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*Don't forget to check out Darry's European Rugby Treble at the bottom of the post.

Leinster Rugby v Munter Rugby | Saturday 7 October | Aviva Stadium | 15:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Leinster 4/10 | Draw 21/1 | Munster 2/1

Leinster Rugby
Leinster, despite winning four out of five games, have endured a rather strange start to their Pro 14 campaign. They got off to a flyer hammering Gwent 16-39 in the opening round. They then put in another classy display the following week as they ran out 37-9 victors over Cardiff. Then headed off to South Africa to take on the Kings and Cheetahs. Visa issues saw Jamison Gibson-Park and Ica Nacewa miss a routine 31-10 victory over the Kings. And while both men were available for the following week's clash with the Cheetahs, it didn't help one iota as the Free Staters beat the much-fancied Leinstermen by 19 points.

Leinster did bounce back from the Cheetahs game by beating Edinburgh but that eight-point victory was far from convincing and they will need to up their game ten-fold if they are to come out on top on Saturday. They will need their pack to fire, particularly their loose trio as Munster have some world beaters in their back three.

Munster Rugby
Like Leinster, Munster come into this one having only lost one of their opening five fixtures. The aforementioned defeat came against tournament pacesetters Glasgow Warriors, who handed the Munstermen a real lesson in attacking rugby while running out 37-10 victors a fortnight ago.

Munster did bounce back from their 17-point defeat to the Warriors in emphatic fashion, however, as they beat the Cardiff Blues by 23 points. The result would have gone a long way to restoring the Munster players' morale levels, and the added emphasis of a derby should see the visitors head into this one as fired-up as a bull that's just seen a matador's red flag.

Verdict: Munster 2/1
I quite fancy the visitors here. Yes, four of the last five games between the sides may have been won by whoever hosted the fixture but most of these were narrow run things. I think that stat is due a change and I can see that happening this weekend. A moderate strike on the away win is my lay here.

European Rugby Treble 11/1
Glasgow Win (Pro 14)
Munster Win (Pro 14)
Montpellier Win (Top 14)

Written by Darry Worthington for

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