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Reds can use late Metro

ROB PENNEY believes Munster will have an advantage by playing their final Pool game against Racing Metro after their rivals for the two best runners-up play on Saturday.

When the Reds take to the Thomond Park turf they will know exactly what is required to guarantee their progression to the last eight with Leinster, Northampton, Montpellier and Biarritz all playing ahead of them.

"The fact we are playing on Sunday may be beneficial to us in that we should know exactly what we have to do, but there is a flip side and knowing what is required can also increase the anxiety levels," the Kiwi coach said.

"All of our focus this week has been on delivering a bloody good performance and, hopefully, we will deliver the desired outcome.

"The fact that we had a 12.45 kick-off last Sunday is helpful for this Sunday, but we have always said we cannot control what day we play or what time the game starts.

"I would prefer if we had Heineken Cup qualification wrapped up long before this, but we cannot alter any of that and we can only influence what lies ahead of us."


Munster veteran Donncha O'Callaghan believes the two late tries that Edinburgh inflicted on them last week will guard against any possible complacency and believes the French side will send a strong team despite the fact that their Heineken Cup journey will end at the weekend.

"In many ways it was timely what Edinburgh did to us in the closing stages in Murrayfield. They had nothing to play for but pride and we were doing all of the pressing, yet they were the ones who came down and scored the last two tries," the 33-year-old lock forward said.

"That should bring the message firmly home to us that even though Racing cannot qualify, they will be coming to Thomond to win.

"We saw how they celebrated after they beat us in Paris and in that they showed us respect. To be honest with you, they will see taking our scalp in Thomond as a big win and that will ensure they are motivated, so we must be on our guard.

"Experience has taught us that you can only approach this sort of match concentrating on getting the win. You cannot get distracted by trying to get a particular number of tries or points.

"You have to have belief that if you deliver the performance, the scores will follow."