| 2.7°C Dublin

Munster to move up a gear

Connacht v Munster

The Sportsground, Tomorrow

(Live TG4 KO 7.45)

It is West meets South in a fixture with a one-sided history. Connacht have won just once in the last 36 matches between the provinces. Amazing.

This is all the motivation coach Eric Elwood will need to break new ground. The contract extensions of centre Kyle Tonetti, scrum-halves Paul O'Donohoe and Dave Moore and lock Dave Gannon are yet another boost.

The construction of the 'Clan Terrace' has given Connacht an iconic hearth from which to breathe fire into their support of a squad that needs every voice.

Unfortunately for Connacht, Munster coach Tony McGahan will have reddened the ears of his players after the 21-17 loss in Aironi, a display he described as their worst of the season.

Munster will know the value of a home semi-final. The gap back to the Ospreys is three, five to Glasgow and six to Ulster. Any slip could be vital.

This is traditionally the time of the season when Munster go into overdrive.

The internal competition for places and the prospect of Leinster and Ulster at home in the next two weeks should foster the right attitude.

Verdict: Munster