Although Peter Malone’s charges have played just one and have a game in hand over today’s opponents Rotherham Titans, a home victory would essentially signal the end of Munster’s dreams.
With one win from two, Rotherham are in a reasonable position to clinch one of the three runners up spots from five pools and thus qualify for the last eight. A loss today would be a huge blow for Munster, ten points adrift of runaway leaders London Welsh.
Malone is well aware that this will be a physically challenging match and said this week: “To develop to the next level you are going to have to be able to survive against that physicality. The English Championship — of which Rotherham are a part — have fully contracted guys that are that bit older than us and it definitely is a challenge.”
Having had to postpone the game in round two against Doncaster because of the death of Anthony Foley, Malone now hopes for a win to help get back into contention and perhaps build momentum going forward.
“Yeah, we need to try and get a bit (of momentum), we had a very average performance against London Welsh in Midleton. We need to have a big performance but it’s a tough place to go.”
Dave Foley is to captain Munster today, and also included are Robin Copeland, James Cronin and the Johnston brothers Bill and David.
A Wootton; C Nash, D Johnston, S Arnold, G O’Shea; B Johnston, Te Aihe Toma; J Cronin, V O’Brien, B Scott; D Foley (captain), D O’Shea; S O’Connor, D Walsh, R Copeland.
L O’Connor, P McCabe, J Madigan, E Mintern, S McMahon, S Crosbie, C Bohane.
W Goodwin, D Tai, JP Estelles, O Bryant, T Collins, C Ryan, M Dudman, J Hutchinson, J Graham (C), D Herriott, T Salmon, T Hicks, W van der Sluys, L Ludlam, D Grange.
S Socino, T Williams, I Williams, M Normandale, T MacDonald, M Walsh, D Kelly.