Saturday 1 October 2016

Holland expecting 'difficult' test in Cardiff

Published 18/03/2016 | 02:30

Munster's Billy Holland (Sportsfile)
Munster's Billy Holland (Sportsfile)

It's been a tough couple of months for Munster but a win in Cardiff this evening would see them climb to fourth in the table.

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This week saw Anthony Foley extend his stay with the province by a year, while the confirmation that Munster are looking for a director of rugby can only be seen as a progressive step.

On the pitch, the players will be eager to notch their third win on the bounce, while in doing so, knocking Ulster out of the play-off places.

James Cronin, Mike Sherry and Robin Copeland all return to bolster the pack, while Ronan O'Mahony has recovered from a hamstring injury to start on the left wing.

Billy Holland again skippers the side and he is expecting a tough challenge in the Welsh capital.

"They're a very difficult side. Their defence is excellent. They've Graham Steadman who was here several years ago as their defence coach," he said.

"Any team that is coached by him is very a gritty defensive side and difficult to break down.

"They're a very difficult side to play against. They like to move the ball around as well.

"We're playing them on a 4G pitch so they'll look to spread it and move it.

"It's going to be massive challenge. They've had a few scalps lately. They beat Ulster over there so we're under no illusions how difficult this game is going to be.

"It's (Pro12) hugely competitive. There's a lot of teams trying to get into the top six for Europe next season and in particular for the top four to get into the play-offs."

Verdict: Munster

Cardiff Blues - D Fish; A Summerhill, G Smith, R Lee-Lo, B Scully; R Patchell, L Williams; B Thyer, M Rees (capt), S Ma'afu; C Dolan, J Turnbull; M Cook, E Jenkins, J Navidi. Reps: K Dacey, T Davies, T Filise, L Reed, M Vosawai, L Jones, J Evans, G Evans.

Munster - A Conway; D Sweetnam, F Saili, R Scannell, R O'Mahony; I Keatley, D Williams; J Cronin, M Sherry, J Ryan; D Foley, B Holland (capt); J O'Donoghue, D O'Callaghan, R Copeland. Reps: N Scannell, D Kilcoyne, S Archer, S McCarthy, J Coghlan, C Sheridan, J Holland, D Johnston.

REF - D Wilkinson (IRFU)

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