BOTH UL-Bohemian and Young Munster face a critical stage in their respective seasons this Friday night, November 9, when they go head-to-head in a Ulster Bank League Division 1A tie at Thomond Park (7.30pm).
Seventh-placed UL-Bohs, fresh from their gritty victory over Garryowen last Friday night, trail leaders Lansdowne by six points, while Munsters, sure to be smarting from their weekend home defeat to Clontarf, are now four points off the 1A pacesetters.
Given the fiercely competitive nature of the top flight, neither side has much margin for error this Friday.
Munsters’ complete their programme of AIL fixtures in November with a home tie against Garryowen on Sunday week, while UL-Bohs travel to Dublin to face leaders Lansdowne the previous day.
As Munster are not involved in PRO12 action this weekend, UL-Bohs could well be boosted by the availability of several contracted players, including the likes of Tommy O’Donnell, Dave Foley, Sean Henry and JJ Hanrahan,
UL-Bohs head coach Colm Tucker said their win over Garryowen on Friday night should put the bounce back into their side ahead of the crunch meeting with Young Munster.
Colm Tucker said: “We got nothing out of the previous game with Clontarf, so it was important we took four points from the match with UL-Bohs.
“We have another local derby this Friday against Young Munster which we won’t look beyond. These are big weeks in terms of the pre-Christmas set-up.
“It is important you are taking points from them, so it was great to get the four.
“We have a bounce back in our step now and are looking forward to Friday.”
Young Munster will be still coming to terms with how they managed to surrender an 11-0 lead against ‘Tarf at Greenfields on Saturday.
Munsters’ will be looking for a big showing from their pack at set-piece time, especially in the scrums, against a UL-Bohs side who will be confident of success.