ERCC: Leicester v Munster Preview

The Leicester Tigers will be looking to increase their chances of qualifying for the knock-out phase of the 2017/18 Champions Cup when they play host to Pool 4 leaders Munster on Sunday the 17th of December.

The Leicester Tigers face a stern test of their credentials this week with Pool 4 table-toppers Munster coming to town. The visitors are yet to lose a Champions Cup game this season with the only blemish on their record being an opening round away draw with Castres. A win for the Munstermen this Sunday would see them take complete control of this group, while a win for the hosts would turn the battle for Pool 4 qualification into an absolute bun fight.

Leicester Tigers v Munster Rugby | Sunday 17 December | Welford Road | 19:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Leicester 72/100 | Draw 20/1 | Munster 23/20

Leicester Tigers
The Tigers may be at home here but they certainly don't deserve the favourites tag that has been affixed to their name. This weekend's host were soundly beaten by Munster at Thomond Park last week. The 32-10 defeat illustrated that there is a massive gap between these teams, one which won't be closed simply by virtue of Leicester turning out on their home pitch and enjoying a partisan support.

Leicester were heavily exposed at the breakdown by Munster's loose trio last week and this could well be another area they struggle to find parity in. The visitors have a high-class back row which features Peter O'Mahony, Chris Cloete and CJ Stander. If these men dominate the breakdown, then Leicester are really going to struggle to build through the phases.

Munster Rugby
They may have a new coach but Munster continued to produce the goods in Europe as they put in a clinical performance to run out 32-10 victors last week. The Irish Province look like they have a real chance of challenging for the title this year. Their forward pack has been dominant while their backline has adapted to a variety of playing conditions with aplomb.

The only real complaint one can lay at Munster feet about last week was their inability to score more points n the second stanza. Having led 23-3 at half-time one would have expected Munster to have switched on the afterburners and have a real go at the Leicester line. Instead, the Irish Province took their foot off the pedal and only won the second half 10-7.

Verdict: Munster 23/20
I feel as though Munster taking the foot off the gas last week was actually quite a sharp ploy. They threw on a hold host of reserves prior to the 60-minute mark, which means a host of their first-stringers should be rather fresh heading into this one. My money is on that shrewd tactic paying dividends this week.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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