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MATCH THREAD: Munster Vs Cardiff

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    #16
    Originally posted by mr chips View Post
    While we won well enough in this fixture last season, the memory of losing to them at home in 2016 still lingers and they've certainly managed to beat us pretty comprehensively in their own home ground - we lost there 37-13 in September and 25-18 in February last year, so at this stage we owe them. They're the strongest of the Welsh sides at present on 52 points, the same as third-placed Connacht, but are fourth in our conference based on a points differential of just 6. So their first target for the weekend is a win that denies us a losing BP into the bargain (which would improve their points difference), followed by a BP win to give them a chance of staying on level pegging with Connacht who are away to Zebre and could well get a try BP of their own. They'll be coming at us hammer and tongs!

    In terms of our selection, I'd expect to see a mix of frontliners and lads fighting to be frontliners - a few of those who didn't make the squad for Edinburgh might get the nod, guys like Cloete (especially if JOD needs more time to recover from the concussion) and Wycherley. Probably no point in having a stab at a 23 for this game before the squad update, but one thought has been at the back of my mind for a couple of weeks now. With James Cronin having been added to our European squad, I would hope that he's not far away from making an appearance either in this game or against Treviso - after all, even if everything goes our way we've an absolute maximum of two European games left. I know it's probably wishful thinking, but seeing his name in the squad would give us a wee boost. And it's not beyond the bounds of possibility - I've said before that JVG seems to like throwing a few curveballs with his selections, such as having Wycherley and O'Shea start in the second row against Zebre the previous weekend. Other than that, it's really a two-game interval before the semi-final so a lot of our confimed first-teamers should be rested for one of them so as to avoid ending up flogged as they face into the business end of the season.
    Cardiff have one banker- home to Ospreys who will have nothing to play for. They will surely be expecting Connacht to get 5 against Zebre (which balances off their 5 in the final game), which means they will need to get a win next week in Galway, or against us, and hope that we beat Connacht. Two wins back to back against Irish provinces with lots to play for would be a heck of an achievement- and I cannot see that happening. Our best outcome is a win, Connacht beat them, leaving us with a final game with Connacht already in the play offs. We need Glasgow to have one loss more than us, and otherwise get no less than one point less than them from the two other games- the tie breakers are all in our favour. Lose this and we can rest up for the HCUP, unless we want a home play off, although we could lose every league game and have a home playoff if results went right for us. I cant imagine us adopting that attitude.

    Saturday was fairly attritional, so the fitness report will determine who plays. Their backrow is impressive- I think we need Cloete in, and JOD will be on return to play in any case. I'd have thought CJ will rest out this or next week, as will Beirne and Murray. I'd love to see James Cronin back for this one- maybe on the bench, and Scannelll /Rhys to start one game with KOB on the bench for both. I'd expect to see Fineen in some capacity both weeks. I'd expect Alby to start, probably with Tyler, and presume there will be a J on the bench (JJ or BJ, with the money probably on the former, thought I say this in despair than hope). Otherwise the backline picks itself.

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      #17
      We need to keep the foot on the pedal here and hope that glasgow slip up.

      I would like like to see Tyler start with BJ on the bench, Murray needs to play as well.
      Maybe it’s an opportunity for Jaco to start in midfield for a farewell, and give Conway another run at 15.

      Kleyn made a few mistakes in Edinburgh which may be rustyness but I suspect it was down to whatever sent him off for a HIA.

      Something like this could be good...l
      Archer Marshall Loughman
      O Shea. Kleyn
      POM cloete botha
      Murray
      Tyler
      sweets
      Jaco
      Goggin
      Earls
      Conway

      Comment


        #18
        There was actually a squad update already up when I posted, but it doesn't say much:

        Following Saturday’s Champions Cup quarter-final win in Edinburgh, Munster Rugby’s Medical Department have issued the below update.

        Jack O’Donoghue failed a HIA and will follow the graded return to play protocols. Joey Carbery has a left hamstring injury and will be assessed further by the medical department today.

        The following players are progressing with rehabilitation: Brian Scott (foot), James Cronin (leg), Tommy O’Donnell (shoulder).


        Of course, just because JOD failed the HIA on the day it doesn't mean he won't play this weekend, but for now I'll assume he's not going to feature. I think there's something in the notion that KOB will feature in both games, with the other two rotated over the Cardiff and Treviso fixtures. If Joey is touch & go for the semi, Tyler might start this one and then be rested in Italy. Of course, the original plan was for Haley to play at 15 on Saturday, but Conway did brilliantly there - was that enough to force a change in selection? If not, it's probably Sweets who would lose out, which would be a bit harsh considering how well he played too.

        My guess:
        Killer, Scannell, Archer (Cronin, O'Byrne, Ryan)
        Beirne, Holland (O'Shea)
        Wycherley, Cloete, Stander (Botha)
        Mathewson, Bleyendaal (Cronin, Johnston)
        Conway, Goggin, Farrell, Earls (Sweetnam)
        Haley

        Like I said above, I'm indulging in a bit of wishful thinking regarding James Cronin which is why I haven't mentioned Loughman, but otherwise I'm trying to second-guess JVG. He seems to have a preference for Haley at fullback, and I think Marshall, Kleyn, POM, Murray and Rory Scannell could end up being the ones who are rested/rotated this weekend before being brought back in against Treviso. Not sure that we'll see JJ or Wootton feature after their lacklustre performances against Zebre, but I wonder if one of the more capable fringe lads like ROM or Nash could be brought in, maybe even Seán O'Connor?

        Tis but a scratch.

        Comment


          #19
          Tyler needs game time, he's coming good. I'd say Joey won't be back til the final

          Comment


            #20
            Was it also Joet’s Left hamstring that was injured during the 6N? They seem to be specifically mentioning which one it is
            "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

            Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

            Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by mr chips View Post
              There was actually a squad update already up when I posted, but it doesn't say much:

              [I]Following Saturday’s Champions Cup quarter-final win in Edinburgh, Munster Rugby’s Medical Department have issued the below update.

              Like I said above, I'm indulging in a bit of wishful thinking regarding James Cronin which is why I haven't mentioned Loughman, but otherwise I'm trying to second-guess JVG. He seems to have a preference for Haley at fullback, and I think Marshall, Kleyn, POM, Murray and Rory Scannell could end up being the ones who are rested/rotated this weekend before being brought back in against Treviso. Not sure that we'll see JJ or Wootton feature after their lacklustre performances against Zebre, but I wonder if one of the more capable fringe lads like ROM or Nash could be brought in, maybe even Seán O'Connor?
              I think you're dead on with Cronin, its very hard to see why he was added to the HCUP panel if he wasnt possible he'd play, I doubt he was added to the panel in the hope of his trotting out in the final. I can see Conway starting at FB again, perhaps with Haley on the wing instead of Sweets- as you say that would be tough. Farrell shipped a fair bit of punishment too, and I'd wonder if he might also be rotated. He gives us an enormous amount in midfield, but not sure he is fully fit (in the sense of being able to recover from further injury). Agree about JJ, I think with Fineen and O Shea ahead of him, and three more experienced second rows, I think O Connor wont see game time. I suppose its possible he might have a look at Beirne dropping into the back row. Goggin must also be in the frame for a start.

              Lastly, I tried to look on line to see which hamstring went while Joey was away in Carton House, couldnt find it- but I did find that hamstring was also the reason he dropped out against Castres.

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by Wallyman View Post

                That's a mindset that belongs in the past. We've a better chance of winning the Pro14 than the HEC. You don't bin the one you've a better chance of winning on the off chance that you might win the other. We haven't won ANYTHING in 8 years.

                I'd expect a slightly rotated team this week with a few more rested in Treviso, but strong teams both weeks. What was obvious from last weekend is that the international players need more game time in red.
                Targeting the Pro14 at the expense of a HEC shot is a mindset that belongs back in the dark days of transition. With the squad we have now, it’s not one that the Munster team and management would dream of adopting. When you reach your third semi-final in a row you go all out, you don’t throw in the towel to ease your path to a Pro14 final.

                We’ll rotate against Cardiff and against Treviso and field the strongest team possible for Sarries. Not a snowball’s chance in hell we’d do anything else.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                  Targeting the Pro14 at the expense of a HEC shot is a mindset that belongs back in the dark days of transition. With the squad we have now, it’s not one that the Munster team and management would dream of adopting. When you reach your third semi-final in a row you go all out, you don’t throw in the towel to ease your path to a Pro14 final.

                  We’ll rotate against Cardiff and against Treviso and field the strongest team possible for Sarries. Not a snowball’s chance in hell we’d do anything else.
                  Wallyman has a point, but my heart would prefer a full tilt go at winning the HEC semi-final.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    I wouldn't have any problem with mixing up the pack a little to give guys like Fineen game-time & I presume with JOD on RTP, Cloete and Arno might start this weekend. However I would like us to play our first choice back-line to get as much game-time together before Saracens as possible. I know there is a risk with injuries but how often have we been able to get our best backs (Conor, Joey/Tyler, Rory, Chris, Earlsie, Andrew and Haley/Sweetnam) together on the pitch this season? Defense alone won't beat Saracens and we need to get our back-line gelling together as much as possible

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                      Targeting the Pro14 at the expense of a HEC shot is a mindset that belongs back in the dark days of transition. With the squad we have now, it’s not one that the Munster team and management would dream of adopting. When you reach your third semi-final in a row you go all out, you don’t throw in the towel to ease your path to a Pro14 final.

                      We’ll rotate against Cardiff and against Treviso and field the strongest team possible for Sarries. Not a snowball’s chance in hell we’d do anything else.
                      Did you even read my post? Nowhere did I say that we should target one competition at the expense of the other. In fact I said the complete opposite. Both should be treated with equal respect. Targeting the HEC at the expense of the league is the mindset from the dark days. It's not the GAA. Munster make more money form a successful Pro14 run than from the HEC. And that's what counts these days.

                      I also said that I expected rotation over the next two weeks, which you also ignored, but it will be nowhere near as heavy as you're expecting.

                      Maybe you should take the time to actually read a post properly before going off on one.
                      Last edited by Wallyman; 1st-April-2019, 20:35.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Marius Mitrea on the whistle on Friday.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          The following table of games shows how negatively impacted Munster are by throwing away points in the Pro 14....You can't afford to drop games now as it means a semi-final qualifier the weekend before the HC final with a PRO 14 semi-final against Leinster the week afterwards and then potentially the Pro14 final...

                          6th April v's Cardiff
                          13th April v Treviso
                          20th April v Saracens
                          28th April v Connacht
                          3/4th May v's TBC if you don't finish ahead of Glasgow
                          10th May v's Leinster/Toulouse
                          17/18th May v's Leinster (Pro 14)
                          25th May Pro 14 Final

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by In Joe we trust View Post
                            The following table of games shows how negatively impacted Munster are by throwing away points in the Pro 14....You can't afford to drop games now as it means a semi-final qualifier the weekend before the HC final with a PRO 14 semi-final against Leinster the week afterwards and then potentially the Pro14 final...

                            6th April v's Cardiff
                            13th April v Treviso
                            20th April v Saracens
                            28th April v Connacht
                            3/4th May v's TBC if you don't finish ahead of Glasgow
                            10th May v's Leinster/Toulouse
                            17/18th May v's Leinster (Pro 14)
                            25th May Pro 14 Final
                            We struggle to get the points we get, being nothing like as good as yourselves. If it’s not to much to ask, it would be very good if you would turn up against Glasgow next week. I’d hate to think you were getting rusty with all the uncompetitive rugby you have to play.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by neill_m View Post
                              Marius Mitrea on the whistle on Friday.
                              An incompetent homer would do nicely.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by In Joe we trust View Post
                                The following table of games shows how negatively impacted Munster are by throwing away points in the Pro 14....You can't afford to drop games now as it means a semi-final qualifier the weekend before the HC final with a PRO 14 semi-final against Leinster the week afterwards and then potentially the Pro14 final...

                                6th April v's Cardiff
                                13th April v Treviso
                                20th April v Saracens
                                28th April v Connacht
                                3/4th May v's TBC if you don't finish ahead of Glasgow
                                10th May v's Leinster/Toulouse
                                17/18th May v's Leinster (Pro 14)
                                25th May Pro 14 Final
                                Munster weren't "throwing away points". That's an idiotic suggestion - or one fuelled by a specific agenda.
                                Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue,
                                Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!

                                Comment

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