Pro 14: Munster v Edinburgh Preview

A fired-up Munster side still hurting from their Champions Cup semi-final exit will be too hot for Edinburgh to handle in this Saturday’s semi-final qualifier, writes Shaun Goosen

Johann van Graan’s side may have been dispatched by the same opposition 12 - 6 at Murrayfield in March, but will be the favourites to progress to face-off against historic rivals Leinster at the RDS Arena next week.

Munster v Edinburgh
5 May 16h15
Thomond Park, Limerick

To Win (80 mins)
Munster 2/9
Draw 25/1
Edinburgh 33/10

Much was expected of Munster ahead of the new season and while they have impressed on the whole, a loss this weekend will be devastating to the fans of the Red Army. Their 27-22 defeat to Racing a fortnight ago put pay to any hopes of claiming a third European crown and marked the second-successive time they have succumbed in the tournament’s last four.

Still, they can yet make a success of this season by claiming a fourth Pro-title by winning their next three domestic knockout duals. A tough ask, of course, but knowing the tenacity for which the Munstermen have long been associated, you’d be a brave man to bet against them.

The defence has been a strength for the men from Limerick all season, but van Graan has this week called for a step-up in his side’s ability with ball in hand. Indeed, an offensive shift may well be the way for Munster to go considering the opposition they face on Saturday.

Edinburgh have already bagged silverware this season in pipping rivals Glasgow to the 1872 Cup last week and are, in the words of, Head Coach - Richard Cockerill, prepared for a “fairytale” end to the season. By no means is the side from the Scottish capital to be taken lightly. They mean business.

Having outdone Munster already this campaign to go along with victories over the likes of the Scarlets and Leinster, the Scotsmen will harbour no fear of failure at Thomond Park.

On the contrary, their stellar results this season coupled with their having qualified for next season’s Champions Cup has put a spring in their step, and one with which they will look to end their Irish rival’s involvement in the tournament.

Verdict: Munster 2/9
Edinburgh are revved up for this one, no doubt about it, but Munster’s superior class and ambition will prove their undoing. Playing in front of the Thomond Park faithful, the Red Army’s forwards will put in a dominant shift to see their side march on into next week’s semi with a win by 10-points or more.

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