The 23/24 season is 5 rounds old this weekend and will see Munster face The Stormers in Limerick 6 months after beating them in the URC Final in Cape Town. It will be a chance for Joseph Dweba to come face to face yet again with the boys he wanted to in his own words “F*** up” in last season’s final and I am sure he will get a special welcome on the pitch and in the stands also. They have long memories in the stands as well as on the pitch Joseph !!
Back to the game, Munster have two wins, a draw and a loss so far this year. Looking to Saturday, it’s a chance to circle the wagons and focus the mind going into the next block of games that includes a trip to Dublin as well as a return to Europe in December.
Munster know the standards haven’t hit the heights they did at the end of last season. It’s time for Munster to kick into a high gear from this weekend onward as the games will start to get bigger as the weeks go by.
John Dobson won’t need to motivate his side and for that matter Graham Rowntree won’t need to use the stick much in meetings to fire his charges up. The return of the internationals is well timed.
Unfortunately RG Snyman won’t be available for an extended period and his engine room colleague Jean Kleyn will come back into the reckoning if not this week, he should be knocking around to be involved against Leinster. We have seen a few guys grab the chance to be in the Munster second row with Edwin Edogbo and Thomas Ahern starting a number of games together, an eye to the future maybe !! Munster also have Fineen Wycherley and Cian Hurley will be back around the new year.
For the talk of the exits of maybe the two SA World Cup winners as the end of the year it is good to see Munster pushing the younger crew forward to start the big games as well as the odd game. Of course this is only speculation at the moment but decision time for new contracts is not too far away either.
Only time will tell will Munster manage to keep one of the two WC winners or will the IRFU say to Munster to let both go in favour of the young talent coming through. The hope among supporters will be to keep one as I feel they won’t hold onto both the end of the current campaign.
As for the back three spots which is quite light at the moment, Liam Coombes was injured in AIL action with Garryowen and that coupled with the retirement of Keith Earls and more recently Andrew Conway leave Munster with space in the back three area.
Opportunity knocks of course for those who will come in, Sean O Brien has seen game time on the left wing with Calvin Nash in the 14 shirt. Simon Zebo will also come back into contention over the next few weeks and that will help relieve the pressure at the minute….
We have yet to see Munster take flight in attack and let’s hope they have ironed out the issues at both line out and scrum time. For Munster to really kick on both areas need to be sharper.
No better time than a home fixture against the Stormers before the run of games that will see a return to Europe…..