Champions lie in wait for Munster


MUNSTER will face Saracens this Saturday in the Champions Cup semi final. The game, which kicks off at 3.15pm at the Aviva Stadium, will be broadcast live on BT Sport.
This will be Munster’s 12th European Cup semi-final – a record for the competition – while Saracens have reached the semi-finals for a sixth time and for the fifth season in a row.
Munster are expected to be without Conor Murray once more as the Ireland scrum half battles to shake off a shoulder injury picked up in the Six Nations. There is better news however surrounding Rory Scannell and CJ Stander who are both expected to be fit for selection following respective ankle knocks.
This will be the 8th meeting between the clubs; Munster have won five of the previous seven clashes (L2), although those two defeats against Saracens have come in their last three meetings.
The sides have met once before in the semi-final with Munster progressing to the final in 2008 after an 18-16 victory at the Ricoh Arena before going on to lift trophy in Cardiff.
A member of that squad, Keith Earls, says that the pressure of expectation back then is not something that this squad have had to deal with, which is a positive for this weekend.
“We won’t be scared of pressure this week. I don’t think young lads feel pressure any more in this squad, which is weird. Saracens won’t let us get our teeth stuck into them either. They’re physical men. They didn’t do the double last year by luck, they’ve been working hard the last six or seven years as a squad. It’s a place we want to get back to now”
“They can play whatever way they want with the talent they have in their squad. They’re big men, they’re physical. They can play ball. Some of their forwards could play out-half if they wanted to. The speed and the talent they have out the backs. They’re equipped with world-class talents all over their squad. It is definitely going to be the hardest challenge of the year. And definitely a game we have to have our best performance if we want to be beat them.”
Munster are two-point underdogs with the bookies in what is sure to be an epic battle.