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Five in a row

Guinness PRO12 Editor

1 Oct 2010

Which team will be crowing on Saturday night after emerging triumphant from the biggest game of rugby in Europe this weekend – Leinster vs Munster.

On the one hand, Leinster will be seeking to make it five wins in a row over their biggest domestic rivals after a fantastic series of victories over the past two seasons. While on the other, Munster will be aiming to maintain the only unbeaten record in this season’s Magners League with a fifth win in a row.

No wonder there will be an international size crowd at the magnificent new Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It promises to be a game, and an occasion, not to be missed.

Blink and you could miss some great battles – Jonathan Sexton vs Ronan O’Gara; Isaac Boss vs Tomas O’Leary; Cian Healy vs John Hayes; Jamie Heaslip vs Denis Leamy; Nathan Hines vs Donncha O’Callaghan or Luke Fitzgerald vs Doug Howlett.

Table-topping Munster will travel with new confidence despite having lost on their last three visits to Dublin. And adding to the spice will be the fact many of Ireland’s leading players will get their first taste of the new home of Irish rugby, the Aviva Stadium.

"It will be our first time to play in the Aviva and that makes it all the more exciting. It’s always great to play in front of a capacity crowd, so we’re all looking forward to it," admitted Munster and Ireland scrum half O’Leary.

"I haven’t been there since it’s been redone, although I’ve seen the soccer games on television. But we are going to Dublin focussed on winning four league points.

"You have to be fully tuned-in to compete with Leinster, especially in Dublin. We haven’t done that in the last couple of years, so it will speak volumes as to whether we’ve improved if we compete against them.

"We’ve started well, winning four from four, and we’ve got 13 points to date whereas we only had two points at the same stage last year. It’s early in the season, but we want to get into the habit of winning.

"Hopefully, we’ll continue that at the weekend. Winning is a habit and is something we probably lost last year.

"There’s a bit of belief and a bit of confidence that comes with winning. If you get to the last 20 minutes, you have confidence that you can go on and win – that’s what we’ll be trying to do on Saturday."