Wednesday 18 September 2019

Reds eye Edinburgh four-timer

Munster's Keith Earls with strength & conditioning coach PJ Wilson during squad training in Cork
Munster's Keith Earls with strength & conditioning coach PJ Wilson during squad training in Cork

John Fallon

Munster will bid to extend their winning run in Edinburgh to four games when they take on Alan Solomons' side at Murrayfield tomorrow afternoon.

Munster may have fallen to the Scots in Anthony Foley's first game in charge at the outset of last season but this is a fixture where the Reds have held the edge.

That surprise 14-13 loss at Thomond Park in September last season was a blip in recent form between these two with Munster winning six of the last seven ties between them in the league.

That includes three impressive wins in a row away to Edinburgh, with Foley's men gaining revenge last season for that opening day loss with a 34-3 win in April in Murrayfield.

Munster's record win over Edinburgh came in the previous away game which took place at Meggetland when they romped home to a 55-12 win.

The previous season Munster left Murrayfield with a 23-18 victory and they will now bid to notch up a fourth away win in a row and continue their league dominance over Edinburgh.

There has never been a draw between these two in the league with Munster winning 21 of the 26 ties between them.

Munster have enjoyed home advantage in a dozen of those, nine of which yielded wins.

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Their record in Scotland is even better with 12 wins and just two losses in 14 visits to Edinburgh.

But with Edinburgh having suffered successive defeats after a four-match winning start, Munster assistant coach Brian Walsh knows there is a danger of a backlash.

"You look at all the games that Edinburgh have played and not too many teams have scored a lot of points against them. They have a real miserly defence, they're very good at the breakdown, they're very sticky and physical in the way they defend.

"I think that's the nature of the league, there are very different challenges from teams in line speed from the one you get in Wales to Scotland.

"You had two teams that wanted to play rugby last weekend and I'm not saying it is going to be a dour battle but it will be a completely different game again this weekend," said Walsh, whose side emerged 32-28 winners over Ulster in the first Irish derby of the season last Friday.

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