Packed Thomond can inspire home victory for Munster

Munster Rugby are hoping Thomond Park can be restored to a fortress for tomorrow’s must-win, last-day Guinness Pro12 clash with Scarlets.

Head coach Anthony Foley spoke of the boost they received in Cork last Friday night when an 8,200 sell-out crowd in Musgrave Park helped lift them to a rousing bonus-point victory over Edinburgh.

And they will need similar backing in Limerick tomorrow afternoon when Munster bid for the final-round victory that will secure a sixth-place finish and guarantee Champions Cup rugby for next season.

Munster yesterday reported ticket sales had reached 17,000 for a game against a talented Welsh side with plenty of incentive themselves to end the regular season on a high.

Scarlets will kick off one point behind fourth-placed Ulster, who play Ospreys at Liberty Stadium, where the home side will be trying to chase down Munster.

All either side can do is take care of their own business, though, and Munster wing Andrew Conway is hoping for a repeat of last week’s atmosphere in Cork at Thomond Park from tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off time. “It makes a massive difference. As much as you want to create your own atmosphere, it is easier when an atmosphere is created for you,” said Conway, a try-scoring man of the match against Edinburgh.

“It is is easier when you look up and see your family there as well as thousands and thousands of Munster fans there shouting for you. You see a packed out venue, it makes it easier for you. You get an extra lift from that.

“If you are on the ground and you are wrecked, especially for forwards, they can hear noise, they can hear people shouting and singing. You get up quicker, that is just how it is.

“The crowd does help you and you do react quicker. It was great to play in. I have not played in front of a packed Munster crowd in a long time. It was good to play in front of. Hopefully, we can get a good crowd again this weekend too. We need everything we can when facing into a team like the Scarlets.”

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