Quarter Finals URC 2024

It is quarter final time in the URC with three Irish provinces in action, Munster face the Ospreys in Thomond Park at 7.35pm this evening. Tomorrow will see Leinster take on Ulster in The Aviva Stadium with a 5pm kick off.

In the other quarter finals, Benetton take on the Bulls and the Stormers play host to Glasgow Warriors. All 8 teams have their sights set on the 2024 URC title. Munster will look to make home advantage count and make it to back to back semi-finals. The Ospreys made the last 8 after defeating Cardiff last weekend and edging out the Lions who looked to have had 8th place locked in.

Toby Booth has the Ospreys playing good rugby at the minute and will have no fears about tonight’s trip to Limerick. They have nothing to lose and plenty to gain by winning this evening. The Ospreys last trip to Limerick was a heavy loss and Munster beat them in the regular season back in March.

Both teams will be without key men like Adam Beard and Tom Ahern through injury but both sides will look towards the replacements to see will those men come in and do a job for their respective teams. As I mention the Ospreys come here with no fear and that makes them dangerous prospect.

It should be an open contest and if the weather holds up we should see both sides playing attacking rugby through the 80 minutes. Munster will want to kick on from the way they ended last week’s game against Ulster and the need to start this game sharper than last week in crucial.

There are a few changes from last week where Munster will have Tony Butler covering 10 and welcome Mike Haley back into the 23. John Hodnett comes into the side at 7. Like last year, Munster will need to grasp the nettle and though they know that it is home comforts all the way if they can negotiate the knock out stages of the URC.

That particular fact is secondary of course and they will need to take it game by game. Thankfully they have been here in recent times and one hopes they have the bank of knowledge stored to help them through any tough moments. It will be close but I think Munster will sneak through by more than a score….

Ulster go the Dublin with memories fresh of that recent last gasp win in the RDS. Leinster will know it is last chance saloon for the season in this game and with that brings extra pressure. Yes Leinster have been here many times but the last trophy to cross the threshold in Leinster HQ in UCD was the URC trophy in 2021 and with that the pressure only ramps up with each passing season…

 Ulster are in bonus territory with a new coaching set up led by Richie Murphy who signed a two year deal to lead Ulster into next season and beyond. Ulster will be buoyed by their performance for large parts of the game in Thomond Park. They also know how to beat this Leinster group beating them twice in league action this year.

Like tonight’s game, there will not be much either way with most likely only a score in it and I just fancy Ulster to complete the hat trick of wins over Leinster and get to the semi-finals to take on either Benetton or the Bulls next week….

As for the other two quarter finals, I can see Glasgow and the Bulls coming through to fill the other two semi final places….

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