Munster look to end Ulster’s fine home run

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Munster's Keith Earls and Conor Murray joke around at the end of squad training this week ahead of Saturday's crucial Guinness PRO12 clash with Ulster at Kingspan Stadium, 2.40pm
MUNSTER will look to end Ulster’s unbeaten home record in the Guinness PRO12 this season and boost their hopes of securing a home semi-final in the play-offs when the Irish provinces clash at Kingspan Stadium this Saturday, 2.40pm.

MUNSTER will look to end Ulster’s unbeaten home record in the Guinness PRO12 this season and boost their hopes of securing a home semi-final in the play-offs when the Irish provinces clash at Kingspan Stadium this Saturday, 2.40pm.

Second-placed Munster currently enjoy a one-point lead over Ulster in the PRO12 table with just two regular season fixtures to go. Foley’s charges conclude their programme of regular season games against the Dragons at Musgrave Park on Saturday, May 16.

Ulster have won all 10 PRO12 games in Belfast this season, while Munster have suffered just one defeat in their last eight league encounters.

Munster were victorious 21-20 when the sides met at Thomond Park in round 9 of the competition, but have not achieved a season’s double over the Ulstermen since the 2010/11 season.

Munster will be without injured prop James Cronin and forward Dave O’Callaghan for Saturday’s game.

Munster head coach, Anthony Foley said: “We are building momentum, I think every team is trying to get to the stage where they are filling their squads and with all the quality players. We had a session out there and the two packs could start.

“We are back to a good state of health and hopefully that competition in training will lead to performances on the pitch on Saturday.”

Saturday’s game which is being televised live on Sky Sports will be refereed by Welsh official Nigel Owens.

Foley added: “They (Ulster) are going well aren’t they? In there last couple of games they have shifted up a gear. They have had the benefits of the weeks off like we had and it allows you prepare and be diligent around what you are doing.”

“There is battles everywhere (in PRO12) – the top two, the four teams are secure in the semi-finals spots. You look over the next couple of weeks, we go to Ulster, Glasgow go to Ospreys, Connacht have Ospreys the following week and Ulster go to Glasgow and we have Dragons at home.

“It is a fortnight of rugby that really matters for every team. It is important that we stay focused, stay on task and make sure we are properly prepared for Ulster in the environment we are going to face up there.”