Munster face URC semi-final tilt with Leinster 

Munster Centre Malakai Fekitoa scores against Glasgow Warriors in the United Rugby Championship Quarter-Final.

AN UNEXPECTED, but most welcome, trip to the capital is on the cards for The Red Army when Munster and Leinster meet in the semi-final of the United Rugby Championship at the Aviva Stadium, where capacity has been set at 29,000, on Saturday evening (kick-off 5.30pm). 

Earlier in the evening (3pm), surprise packets Connacht are in Cape Town to tackle DHL Stormers in the other semi-final. 

Munster arrive to Dublin after handing a fancied Glasgow Warriors their only defeat of the season at Scotstoun, 5-14, on Saturday.  

In Scotland, Malakai Fekitoa and Antoine Frisch scored both Munster tries in the first half, with Jack Crowley converting each. 

The visitors withstood ferocious pressure late-on to emerge victors. 

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“It was a big physical statement keeping them out and I was delighted with that. The caveat to that is there’s still a load that we can do better,” coach Graham Rowntree told the Irish Examiner afterwards.

The bruising victory, however, came at a serious price, with Malakai Fekitoa, Conor Murray, Calvin Nash, and RG Snyman all ruled through HIAs for selection, while serious doubts surround captain Peter O’Mahony (arm) and Diarmuid Barron (shoulder). 

On Saturday’s high-profile fixture, Rowntree said: “It’s always a challenge anyway, isn’t it, you play against them, they’ve got some form. They’ve used a lot of players themselves, we’ll see what the next couple of days bring, see what team we can put out on the park and then we’ll go up there and we’ll go for it.”

Leinster cruised into the last four with victory over Sharks. 

The highest ranked finalists will be at home in the decider. The rankings are: Leinster (1), DHL Stormers (3), Munster (5) and Connacht (7).

A win for Munster – who have been chalked-up by Boylesports at generous odds of 11/1 to win the tournament outright – would result in a final outing at home to Connacht or away to Stormers on Saturday, May 27.