Munster achieved their essential aim of taking all five Guinness Pro 14 points from the visit of the lowly Southern Kings by the half-time whistle at Musgrave Park and after that, it was little more than a romp for a bang-in-form home side who thrilled the appreciative Cork crowd of 6,854 with ten tries on a delightful evening for attacking football.
Further evidence of the influence of West Cork rugby in the Munster team has come with the inclusion of Rosscarbery flanker John Hodnett for his first Guinness Pro 14 start — against South African side Southern Kings — at Musgrave Park this evening, kick-off 7. 35.
Having trailed 6-0 after 14 minutes, Munster added their points in sevens to take a 14-6 lead into the break but it was not until Conor Murray pounced off the back of a ruck in 47th minute that the home side truly put this game beyond Ospreys in front of 19,891, the biggest crowd of the weekend in the Champions Cup. Not bad for a dead rubber.
Head coach Dave Rennie will almost certainly leave Glasgow Warriors at the end of this season, most likely to take charge of Australia, although he has also been linked with the New Zealand and Italy jobs. His legacy in Scotland will depend almost entirely on how his team fares in this European Champions Cup campaign, which kicks-off when Sale Sharks visit Scotstoun tomorrow afternoon.
Head coach Dave Rennie will almost certainly leave Glasgow Warriors at the end of this season, most likely to take charge of Australia, although he has also been linked with the New Zealand and Italy jobs. His legacy in Scotland will depend almost entirely on how his team fairs in this European Champions Cup campaign, which kicks-off when Sale Sharks visit Scotstoun Saturday afternoon.
Munster head coach Johann van Graan knows all there is to know about South Africa’s major domestic competition, the Currie Cup. Given that the Cheetahs — one of his side’s two Guinness PRO14 opponents over the next fortnight — were recently crowned champions of the 130-year-old tournament, he is aware of the challenge awaiting his team.
This time 12 months ago, Munster and Leinster felt bulletproof as they approached their respective Champions Cup semi-final deciders against Racing 92 and Scarlets, with both squads densely fortified with players from Ireland’s all-conquering Grand Slam team.
Forewarned is forearmed, as the proverb goes. Chris Farrell’s one-week release from Ireland camp back to Munster during the Six Nations has given the centre confidence that he and his fellow internationals will be on the same page with their provincial teammates by kick-off time at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Ulster may have achieved their goal in leapfrogging Benetton in the chase for a Guinness PRO14 knock-out place, but there was mixed news in the aftermath of Saturday’s win over Southern Kings for coach Dan McFarland ahead of next week’s Champions Cup quarter-final with Leinster.