Sunday 25 August 2019

Guest welcomes decider with old foes Leinster

Like Munster, Leinster have beaten Connacht and Ulster en route to the decider (stock picture)
Like Munster, Leinster have beaten Connacht and Ulster en route to the decider (stock picture)
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Laura Guest is fully aware of the scale of the challenge that lies ahead for her Munster side during this evening's (7.30) Interpro showdown with Leinster at Energia Park, but the Munster head coach insists that she will keep the focus on her own players.

Munster come into the eagerly-awaited clash as champions, but they face a stiff challenge against a Sene Naoupu-led Leinster outfit who are yet to concede a point in this year's series.

Like Munster, Leinster have beaten Connacht and Ulster en route to the decider that sees plenty of international quality on show.

Ireland star Naoupu will come up against her international team-mate Niamh Briggs in what promises to be a ferocious midfield battle.

"I think any player that plays for Munster always loves playing against Leinster," Guest said.

"Leinster are a very good side. We are under no illusions. They've won their two (games) comfortably as well.

"But at the same time, we have our own plans in place. We have our own game-plan to execute. We'll see. I can't there too much being it, despite Leinster looked very comfortable in their two fixtures so far."

Hannah Tyrrell returns at full-back for Leinster, while Lindsay Peat's influence, particularly at scrum time, could be decisive.

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Munster's livewire scrum-half Nicole Cronin, cousin of Leinster's Sean and Munster's Neil, will look to set the tempo for her side and, to do so, the Limerick native will be demanding a big performance from her pack, especially from Ireland captain Ciara Griffin who starts at openside.

"The collective understanding between the Munster forwards and their backs, where they are on the field and what they want to achieve, is outstanding," Leinster boss Ben Armstrong warned.

"It's very hard to get the ball back off them once you give it to them, so we'll be well aware of what's coming up."

Meanwhile, Connacht and Ulster round off their campaign at the Sportsground today (2.30) as both sides go in search of their first win.

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