The RaboDirect PRO12 returns this weekend after the two week Heineken Cup break as Munster take on Edinburgh at Thomond Park in Limerick on Saturday; kick-off at 8.30pm.
Tony McGahan’s side will take great encouragement from their two thrilling wins against Northampton and Castres in the European competition, where Ronan O’Gara twice made the difference with the last kick of the game to win it for the Red Army.
The home side were trailing in Thomond Park when the clock ticked over the 80 minute mark but the resilience and mental strength of Munster allowed them to play through 41 penalty-free phases before O’Gara’s magic boot put the ball over the bar from 40 metres out for the 23-21 win over last year’s finalists.
Munster then went to France where they overturned an 11 point first half deficit to come back and leave it to their illustrious out-half again, and O’Gara duly obliged, to win it for them with the last kick of the game to beat Castres 27-24, and put McGahan’s charges in second place behind the Scarlets in Pool 1.
Edinburgh will also be coming into this fixture full of confidence as their Heineken Cup exploits produced equally exciting games which find the Scottish side on top of Pool 2 after closely contested wins over London Irish and Racing Metro; both games were won by just one point.
Michael Bradley’s side showed great character, similar to Munster’s, when they came back from a nine points down in the first half away from home against London Irish to win the game courtesy of a Stuart McInally try and a conversion by scrum-half Greig Laidlaw and hung on for the win with just over ten minutes to go.
Edinburgh once again displayed their mental strength and fight as they came from behind to beat Racing, when in-form winger Tim Visser grabbed two tries including the match-winning try, converted by Laidlaw, to grab the win over the French side at Murrayfield.
The form both Munster and Edinburgh are in will make the clash at Thomond Park a must-see game, with the Scottish side lying nine points behind Munster in the Pro12 table in 10th position while Munster will be looking to keep in touch with the Ospreys and Leinster, who travel to Treviso earlier in the day.
Munster are favourites but the form Edinburgh are in is tempting at 2.1; check out the latest odds on Betfair.com.
J Murphy, D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, D Hurley, L O’Dea, T Gleeson, S Zebo, S Deasy, W Chambers, I Keatley, R O’Gara, T O’Leary, D Williams, C Murray, M Horan, W Du Preez, J Ryan, J Hayes, D Fogarty, D Varley, BJ Botha, S Henry, S Archer, P O’Connell, I Nagle, P Butler, T O’Donnell, B Holland, M O’Driscoll, D O’Callaghan, J Coughlan, N Ronan, P O’Mahony.
Edinburgh squad: TBA