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Cardiff v Munster prematch(s) analysis

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    Cardiff v Munster prematch(s) analysis



    @@@@SPAN>Sunday’s in Cardiff probably bring mixed emotions for Munster supporters. In 2002, a certain Sunday dawned in a Cardiff packed to bursting with Munster fans of all age, shape and sizes. Unfortunately the vast majority wished it hadn’t dawned at all as the previous day Munster had failed at the final hurdle in their bid to lift the Heineken Cup in a much remembered game against Leicester.@@@@/SPAN>

    @@@@SPAN>Four years later even more Munster fans awoke on a Sunday morning in the capital of Wales . Same city, same final hurdle but different opposition and most importantly, different result. Munster had become Champions of Europe the previous day and the Heineken Cup was coming back for the first time. For that reason alone, Cardiff holds a special place in the hearts of Munster supporters.@@@@/SPAN>

    @@@@SPAN>@@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN>A little over seven months later, Munster once again find themselves on their Heineken Cup travels and once again find themselves pitching up in Cardiff . Not this time the splendour of the 74,500 seater Millennium Stadium but instead the compact 14,000 capacity home of the Cardiff Blues next door, Cardiff Arms Park . The Blues have already played one home game in this season’s campaign against the Leicester Tigers but decided to move this game to the Millennium Stadium. A crowd close to 30,000 turned up to see the Blues lose a game many consider they should have won. Unfortunately, moving the game against Munster next door was never an option for the Blues due to the British Rally which will take place there this weekend. Rally cars and rugby pitches do not mix and there will be no pitch at the Millennium Stadium until February 2007 when a certain team in green turn up for the first game of the 2007 Six Nations. Some would argue that there has been no pitch there for the last couple of weeks such was the state of the ground mid way through the Welsh Autumn Internationals.@@@@/SPAN>

    @@@@SPAN>@@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN>Even though the capacity of Cardiff Arms Park is restricted, a large contingent of Munster supporters are expected to be in place at 1pm when Munster take to the field for their third Heineken Cup group match (and a big debt of gratitude for this should probably go to the nice Cardiff Blues ticket office who started selling tickets for the match online at the beginning of November, in the process setting a record for ticket sales in the first three hours after they went on sale). The Munster team should be back to near full strength with the return of the Irish international players and hopefully will suffer no injuries to add to that of the loss of Marcus Horan when they play Connacht next weekend.@@@@/SPAN>

    @@@@SPAN>@@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN>The Cardiff Blues team that take the field at the same time should also be well known. Like Munster, they too have suffered the loss of their international players for the past four weeks but the team that has been playing in the Magners League during this time has probably been a bit more settled than the one Munster were putting out. Apart from centre Tom Shaklin and scrum half Mike Phillips, who were absent on Welsh duty, the remaining backs have been available to the Blues. And a weak back line it most certainly isn’t. @@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN>

    @@@@SPAN>Ben Blair, a one cap All Black should start at fullback. Since his move to the Blues at the start of the season, Blair has already become a firm Arms Park favourite. A good runner, strong under a high ball and a spotter of gaps that can open any defence, Blair has also taken on the mantle of place kicker at which he has a very successful strike rate. On the wings, young winger Chris Czekaj and new signing Mosese Luveitasau should get the nod. Despite being physical opposites (Czekaj seeming small and slight and Leveitasau being big and strong), both possess pace in abundance and any errors in the Mun

    Thanks Ozoyo and Cardiff Matt. [img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img]
    To see the light one must first realise it is dark


      Smashing post, well done [img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img]
      Con Artist


        Rugby: it\'s not the winning, it\'s the taking apart



          Excellent analysis.

          Cardiff was always a great rugby city to visit and last year made it even better


            Great article Matt!


            Weirldly enough, I never got the chance to go to Cardiff, travelling from France to Wales isn't easy.

            I hope as you said that we will not loose any players against Connacht. We need our full squad as Cardiff has been proven well able to cause us problems in the past but, as you said HC and ML are a complete different story.



              [img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img]Excellent piece Matt !

              Plato: \"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.\"


                Great piece Matt[img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img]

                Is this to be a regular piece ?? [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]


                  super write up Matt [img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img], Munster to win well with a tasty bonus point
                  Frank the Tank is not coming back. OK? That part of me is over, water under the bridge.


                    Good article..we will have to dominate upfront cos they have a good three quarter line outlined there.