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Sparkling effort needed if Munster are to beat Sharks

THE ability of Munster to run the opposition ragged has clicked in a few fixtures since the turn of the year and they are banking on a similar tactic tomorrow when they take on the Cell Sharks in Hollywoodbets Kings Park, South Africa, kick-off 1.30 Irish time. They have named a back five that have speed to burn, and a fair share of guile, in the hope that they can out-fox the opposition with open play. It will be interesting to see what the response will be from the Sharks. Do they kick deep and invite the counter attack, do they rely on their considerable brawn to get the upper hand in the trenches or will they match the Irish by relying on their back-liners to open up the opposing defence.

Haley, Nash, Frisch, Fekitoa and Shane Daly know only one tactic when they get their hands on the ball and that is to outwit the opposition with slick backline moves and clever decision making. Let’s hope they show that determination from the start and not pay the price of last week’s first half when conceding four unanswered converted tries preceded a disappointing defeat. Munster will fear no team in this Heineken Cup. The competition is very close to the heart of this club and to its supporters and we can be assured of a mighty performance from a side that has the ability to beat any side in this Round of 16. Home advantage for opposing sides has seen the Reds produce some spectacular results since they first came to prominence in this competition in 1999/2000 and tomorrow’s game offers an opportunity for these young players to come up with a performance that they can be proud of.
The Sharks will certainly provide mighty opposition and it will be interesting to see how they react at the scrum and the lineout. The inclusion of their fellow international RG Snyman by Munster will be closely watched and it will be interesting to see how he performs on his return to SA soil. He will certainly be protected by one of the strongest back-rows in present day rugby with Peter O’Mahony, the tireless John Hodnett and scoring machine Gavin Coombes in superb form this season. The half-back pairing of Jack Crowley and Craig Casey is again based on open play, speedy attacks off the scrums and lineouts and individual sniping breaks around the fringes. This is an intriguing game to look forward to but one thng is certain: there will not be much between the sides at the final whistle after a Titanic struggle.
Cell C Sharks: 15. Boeta Chamberlain, 14. Werner Kok, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11. Makazola Mapimpi, 10. Curwin Bosch, 9. Jaden Hendrikse, 1. Ox Nché, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 3. Thomas du Toit, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 6. Siya Kolisi (c), 7. Vincent Tshituka, 8. Sikumbuzo Notshe.
Replacements: 16. Kerron van Vuuren, 17. Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18. Carlu Sadie, 19. Emile van Heerden, 20. Phendulani Buthelezi, 21. Grant Williams, 22. Ben Tapuai, 23. Thaakir Abrahams,
Munster Rugby
Munster: 15. Mike Haley, 14. Calvin Nash, 13. Antoine Frisch, 12. Malakai Fekitoa, 11. Shane Daly, 10. Jack Crowley, 9. Craig Casey, 1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. Roman Salanoa, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. RG Snyman, 6. Peter O’Mahony (c), 7. John Hodnett, 8. Gavin Coombes.
Replacements: 16. Diarmuid Barron, 17. Josh Wycherley, 18. Stephen Archer, 19. Fineen Wycherley, 20. Jack O’Donoghue, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Joey Carbery, 23. Alex Kendellen,
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
AR1: Tom Foley (England)
AR2: Adam Leal (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)
Broadcasters: SuperSport / BT Sport / beIN SPORTS / FloRugby

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