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Leinster v Munster, HEC Semi Final


An Tarbh

So the All Ireland clash is almost upon us and this mouthwatering tie promises to be something truly special. Definitely has a similar feel about it to the Munster Wasps game 2 years ago or even the quarter final with Leinster and Toulouse at the start of the month.

I don't necessarily buy into the credance that it will be a case of Leinster's backs against Munster's forwards. Leinster proved in Toulouse and Bath that their pack are no mugs. They posess a formidable backrow that will certainly pose Munster serious problems, set piece is obviously an advantage for Munster but should Leinster gain parity then it gives a platform for their backs, marshalled superbly by Contepomi to create plenty of attacking chances. The clash last time out at the RDS was certainly interesting as Leinster's pack more than held their own even managing to maul the much vaunted pack over 20 metres, not bad for a bunch of lady boys.

No shortage of needle going into this clash in what should prove to be the biggest day in Irish provincial rugby with the winner no doubt heading to Cardiff as favourites to pick up the trophy.

So how do you see this one going, can Leinster continue their fine European form or will the Munster juggernaut keep rolling all the way to Cardiff?
Despite the improved performance by Munster this weekend I can't look past Leinster for this one. If they can gain even parity in the lineout (which was awful on Friday) Munster won't be able to cope out wide.

Although I can't help but wonder if Horan's probable absence will be a blessing in disguise for Munster as Puciarello is probably a better scrummager and tight player.
Were you guys happy it was and all Ireland semi or would've you prefered a them to play in seperate semis? So as to risk an all Ireland final or none at all.

By the way I think Leinster will win this one, despite not looking great v the Scarlets they will beat Munster who were very poor against the Dragons last week.
Not too bothered to be honest, if we're to win the HEC we most likely would have had to beat Biarritz and Munster, so it shouldn't make much difference what order we would do it in. Having said that an All Ireland final would have been awesome but with the game being at Lansdowne I can see it being one of the most amazing occasions and a fitting end to HEC rugby at the current Lansdowne.
My respect for Cameron Jowitt has just increased hugely. It turns out Rachel Hunter (the famous one) used to be his babysitter.
well it doesn't look like he'll be playing this Sunday, whether he plays in the remaining games either is debateable.
i can see leinster winning this to be honest leinster backs are just to good
Munster Select

Ronan O'Gara and Denis Leamy have won their battle to be fit for the semi-final against Leinster at Lansdowne Road on Sunday while Federico Pucciariello retains the loose head prop position ahead of Marcus Horan whose calf injury did not clear up in time.

After an impressive showing against Edinburgh Reivers last weekend, Anthony Horgan retains the right wing berth while John Kelly will wear the number 13 shirt.

Munster: S Payne; A Horgan, J Kelly, T Halstead, I Dowling; R O'Gara, P Stringer; F Pucciariello, J Flannery, J Hayes; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell; D Leamy, D Wallace, A Foley capt.

Replacements: D Fogarty, F Roche, M O'Driscoll, S Keogh, J Manning, R Henderson, T O'Leary
Only Horan missing out so, not that bad Freddy certainly won't let them down anyway. Sure in games this big Munster were still able to push Wasps mighty close with Holland playing at 10 so this team is capable of anything and Wasps we certainly ain't.

Much as I want Leinster to win I can't see it happening, it's gonna be a close fought game with Munster trying to choke the life out of the Leinster pack and ultimately I can see them winning with that gameplan.
Originally posted by cavan@Apr 22 2006, 01:37 AM
After an impressive showing against Edinburgh Reivers last weekend, Anthony Horgan retains the right wing berth while John Kelly will wear the number 13 shirt.
Haha. They haven't been called the Edinburgh Reivers for years :D
According to reports Peter Stringer is rated doubtful for tomorow having sustained a leg injury in training yesterday.

Whether this is Munster mindgames or the truth we'll have to wait and see. Think it's a bit of the former myself.
Have to back Munster to win it now. Part of me will be gald to see them do so as well if they manage it, the fans are fantastic, created an incredible atmosphere when Saints met them in the 2000 final.
Credit to Munster, they really should now finish the job in Cardiff but I wouldn't be surprised if Biarritz cut loose now they've actually made the final.
paul o connell is fast becoming as enigmatic as players like willie john mcbride and martin johnson
Contepomi was terrible, Leinster really had no chance the way he played today.

He was Brilliant against Toulouse, is he always so hot and cold?
That is a bit unfair tbh. The occasion obviously got to him, but he has been had more brillant games in his career than bad ones like today.
Nice that today was his worst performance of the season, great timing, still he's one of the main reasons we were actually there today and that shouldn't be forgotten

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