Friday 20 September 2019

Improving Munster seeking final return

Johann Van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile
Johann Van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile

John O'Sullivan

Munster will look to qualify for their fourth PRO14 final in eight years with victory over Leinster next Saturday.

The game takes place at the RDS, 12 months on from Munster's one-point reversal at the same venue and at the same stage of the same competition. 

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Johann van Graan's men go in to the game with an improved record on last season. Last term they won 13 of their 21 regular-season games; this season they have won 17 conference games.

A dramatic long-range JJ Hanrahan penalty saw Munster beat Benetton Rugby 15-13 in the quarter-finals.

The Italians - whose coach, Kieran Crowley, was named PRO14 Coach of the Season - have been in outstanding form all season.

Munster's victory is even more creditable when it is considered they were shorn of Joey Carbery and Keith Earls, both of whom are expected to be available for selection for the game away to Leinster.

Munster are looking to complete a seasonal double over their eastern rivals after defeating Leo Cullen's side 26-17 at Thomond Park in December.

Should Munster emerge victorious, they could face an all-Irish affair in a final against Ulster or have the opportunity to avenge their 2015 final defeat to Glasgow.

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