Ireland legend Gordon D'Arcy and journalist Gerry Thornley joined OTB’s Joe Molloy this evening on Monday Night Rugby to look back on how the provinces are progressing and how they expect Leinster Vs Munster to pan out this weekend.
Off the back of a 31-17 win over Bulls on Saturday Munster are now “staring down the barrel of Leinster”, which will serve as a form of “recalibration” as to where they stand according to retired Ireland and Leinster star Gordon D'Arcy.
“You can definitely see their attacking philosophy is growing in there and they are going for it” he continued, but also pointed out that while there were “some good individual performances” from the team that their opposition on that day were nothing short of “woeful.”
Gavin Coombs, Craig Casey and Peter O’Mahony stood out however among others, and they’ll certainly be aspiring to capture that performance this weekend when they take on Leinster in the Aviva stadium.
Stuart Lancaster’s men are themselves recovering from a 10-0 win versus Connacht at The Sportsground in Galway, but yet the team selection and build up engulfs The Red Army.
“I think there's an awful lot of focus on this Munster team selection this week because if they go to not lose in the Aviva, they will get well stuffed” D'Arcy says.
“But then if they keep playing, keep trying to develop this style that they're going with here they might not win.
On the other side there a good performance in the Aviva could serve them for well for the for the rest of the season. So you know, if this is a must win game for Munster I think they've already lost season.
The balance between team development and the momentum a win would provide lying on a knife-edge, Thornley too is looking forward to “the best supported non test fixture in global rugby.”
With over 35,000 tickets sold so far, it’s sure to be blockbuster, as is the team selection which will reveal a lot as to where the Munster players stand in the pecking order.
“The number 9 is the most interesting selection of the week because it's beginning to look as if Craig Casey might now be Munster’s first choice” the Irish Times journalist says.
“That would also mean it would have significant connotations for the November series, particularly if Jemison Gibson Park isn't fit for the opening game against South Africa.”
With said international window looming the match is sure to yield some fireworks, as Thornley marks out “we've been spoiled with this fixture for about 15 years now.”
“It's a fixture to be celebrated” he concludes.
Let’s hope it lives up to expectation.
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