Munster will need to be at their very best should they hope to progress to this year’s Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals, according to Alan Quinlan.
The former Munster flanker was on Monday’s OTB AM and felt that the odds are stacked against Munster, despite a 10-3 win over Saracens at Thomond Park.
“It’s an incredibly tough group and you can’t be critical of Munster and say, ‘They should have moved the ball more and done things differently.
“Both sides just could not play rugby. It was impossible to play with the wind and the rain.
“It’s going to take a monumental effort to get out of that group at this stage,” Quinlan commented.
While missing out on a try bonus-point and conceding a losing bonus-point to Saracens could prove crucial in the long run, the draw at home with Racing 92 could hamper their hopes more significantly.
“It’s going to be very difficult. The very minute the whistle went after the Racing game in Thomond Park I feared the worst for them.
“Look, they’re still there or thereabouts. Have they a better chance of going to Racing and winning than Saracens next week? Who knows.
“But I think they have to get an away win because they’re on 11 points and they’ve two away games and a home win.
“So you think they’ll get the five against Ospreys in the last round which would put them on 16. Two losing bonus-points will put them on 18. It’s not going to be enough I don’t think.
“Because I think Saracens and Racing will both get more than that. So they have to get a win, either in Saracens or in Racing,” Quinlan said.
'It was a very dangerous prospect'
While Saracens didn’t play their strongest team against Munster in Limerick they are expected to bring back their front-liners this weekend in London.
Munster have been criticised for struggling against the weakened Premiership side, but Quinlan pointed out that the Londoners still had plenty of talent in their team.
“They were a little bit inaccurate but it was just impossible to play, particularly in the second half with the wind and the rain.
“When you take a number of players out like Saracens did. They still had seven players that started against Leinster in the final in May.
“They had a lot of good young players and fringe players - fringe internationals even. So it was a very dangerous prospect,” Quinlan said.
Munster take on Saracens at Allianz Park this Saturday at 3pm in a game that could make or break their Heineken Champions Cup campaign.