MUNSTER face into the first of two huge weekend’s in their Guinness PRO12 play-off bid when Anthony Foley’s charges host table toppers Glasgow Warriors at Musgrave Park on this Saturday night, 7.15pm.
A week later, Munster travel to the Liberty Stadium to tackle another side with strong PRO12 top four aspirations, the Ospreys.
Munster have won only one of their last five fixtures against the Warriors, who currently enjoy a four point lead over both second-placed Ulster and third-placed Munster in the table. With the top five sides, down to the Ospreys in fifth separated by just seven points, there is little margin for error. There are now just seven rounds of regular season fixtures to go. Munster forced a 25-25 away draw with Scarlets last weekend.
Minister Simon Coveney will join Munster Rugby Branch President Michael Goggin, of UL-Bohemian, in officially opening the newly developed Musgrave Park ahead of kick-off in Munster’s crucial tie with Glasgow.
Saturday night’s game is the third of four in which Munster must plan without their Irish internationals who are on 6 Nations duty against England at the Aviva Stadium this Sunday.
Munster have won their last four home games in the Guinness PRO12 and have been victorious on their last seven fixtures in Cork since Cardiff Blues beat them there in January 2013.
Head coach, Anthony Foley said: “Glasgow and ourselves went toe to toe up there as well (Scotstoun in December), and we ended up losing by three points in a game that possibly, , we left behind us.
“Glasgow came over to Thomond Park last year and turned us over, and they also knocked us out in the semi-final last year, so there is a small bit of history developing there between the two sides.
“We’ve had a fortnight of hard work, but we’ll look at Glasgow now, and make sure we’re focussed and ready.
“We need control on what we’re doing. We’ve a very good referee at the weekend in Nigel Owens, and with the official opening of the stadium, it’s a big weekend all round and obviously they’re the team that are four points clear on the table and we’re trying to catch them.”
The following weekend Munster travel to Wales to face Ospreys, another team with the potential to threaten their play-off ambitions.
Despite an inconsistent run of performances of late, the Welsh outfit remain fifth on the league table and within three points of Munster.