Guinness PRO12: Munster v Scarlets Preview

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Munster will look to build on their win over Leinster at the Aviva Stadium last weekend when facing Scarlets at Thomond Park this Friday night, 7.35pm
FOLLOWING the high of beating arch rivals Leinster in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday night, Munster face a six-day turnaround before resuming hostilities in the Guinness PRO12 this Friday night against the Scarlets at Thomond Park, 7.35pm.

FOLLOWING the high of beating arch rivals Leinster in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday night, Munster face a six-day turnaround before resuming hostilities in the Guinness PRO12 this Friday night against the Scarlets at Thomond Park, 7.35pm.

On the back of two home defeats already this season in the PRO12, Munster will be anxious to put on a show for their home supporters on Friday night. Indeed, Munster have won only one of their last five home games in the League.

And, of course, the Scarlets tie is Munster’s final competitive fixture before the province opens their European Champions Cup campaign away to Sale Sharks on Saturday week.

The Scarlets face a five-day turnaround for the trip to Limerick as the Welsh region defeated Newport Gwent Dragons 26-13 at Parc y Scarlets on Sunday. Scarlets are just one point behind fifth-placed Munster in the Guinness PRO12 table at this early stage of the season.

So what can Munster fans expect from Anthony Foley’s charges when they face the Welsh region at Thomond Park?

What can we expect from the Scarlets?

Exits of influential centre Jonathan Davies and international flanker Josh Turnbull have been somewhat cushioned by Regan King’s return from Clermont Auvergne and Chris Hala’ufia’s arrival from London Irish.

Scarlets former Auckland coach Wayne Pivac Pivac is well regarded. The Welsh region has lost just one of their five PRO12 fixtures to date this season. With the likes of Owens, Jake Ball, Shingler, Rhys Priestland and Scott and Liam Williams, the Scarlets are sure to be highly competitive against Anthony Foley’s charges.

Head Coach Wayne Pivac has made four changes to the starting XV to face Munster from last weekend’s derby clash with the Dragons. Aled Davies replaces the injured Gareth Davies whilst Phil John, Kirby Myhill and Rhodri Jones replace last weekend’s front row of Rob Evans, Emyr Phillips and Samson Lee, who all move to the replacements bench.

What’s Munster’s home record against the Llanelli Scarlets been like?

The Scarlets have been victorious just once on Munster soil in the last eleven years a 13-6 in Musgrave Park in November 2012. The Welsh region have won just one previous encounter at Thomond Park, 19-12 in the PRO12 in September 2003.

Munster ave won only one of their last five home games, a 31-5 success against Zebre on September 19 and Scarlets have sufered just one defeat in their last seven PRO12 matches.

What kind of attendance will be at Thomond Park?

Munster will hope for a ‘bounce’ from the team’s terrific win over Leinster in Dublin on Saturday. Attendances for home games, not helped by two defeats in the opening three, have been modest. Weather permitting, expect up to 18,000 fans to show up.

Munster v Scarlets in the Guinness PRO12 is live on TG4.