Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing WP: 134

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Match Page 2017-18 - Last 3 Matches WP: 142

Match Page 2017-18 - Season so Far WP:141

Preview: Edinburgh Rugby v Munster

Andrew Lawton 15 Mar 2018

Two teams fighting for a Guinness PRO14 Final Series spot do battle on Friday night as Munster travel to Edinburgh Rugby.

Both sides are close to securing their passage into the knockout stages of the competition and can make a big step towards that at Murrayfield.

Munster triumphed against Glasgow Warriors last time out and will be looking for a Scottish double while Edinburgh are on a four-game winning streak that has seen them beat Southern Kings, Leinster, Ulster and Dragons.

What’s at stake?

Munster can take an enormous step to qualifying for the Guinness PRO14 Final Series, with only four rounds left after this.

While Glasgow Warriors look too far ahead to catch in Conference A, they will want to make sure of second place by building on their six-point advantage over Ulster and guarantee a home quarter-final.

Edinburgh are in much more of a fight in Conference B, only ahead of Ulster by five points, and a win over Munster could be crucial.

Team news (Edinburgh)

Edinburgh welcome back Scotland internationals Ben Toolis, who starts at second row, and Simon Berghan, who is on the bench.

Dougie Fife is named at full-back after making his 100th appearance for the club in last month’s win over Dragons.

Mark Bennett returns after missing that game, linking up with Chris Dean in midfield.

Samoan international Jordan Lay starts alongside Murray McCallum and Neil Cochrane in the front row.

Team news (Munster)

Munster have made six changes to the starting XV that enjoyed such an impressive win over the Warriors last time out.

Billy Holland is making his 150th Guinness PRO14 appearance and starts as captain while Tommy O’Donnell is on the bench and could feature for the first time since injuring his shoulder on January 1.

The players coming into the team are JJ Hanrahan at fly-half, with Rory Scannell at inside centre and Darren Sweetnam on the right wing.

Conor Oliver and Jack O’Donoghue start as flankers and Mike Sherry making his first start of the season at hooker.

Talking points:

Head coach Richard Cockerill said: “Munster are a very good side. They should come here and they should win, but we’ll see.

“We’ll be well prepped and motivated for the game – as I’m sure they’ll be – and it’s another good test for us.

“Munster have probably got a good enough squad to beat us but we’re playing well, we’re confident and we’ll go out there and try and improve on last week.”

Key battle – Ben Toolis v Billy Holland

A strong lineout could be the difference between the two sides and Ben Toolis will want to make a good impression on his return from Scotland duty.

Billy Holland will feel the responsibility as captain to lead Munster to victory at Murrayfield and may target the returning Toolis and try to disrupt the Edinburgh set-piece.

The battle between those two at the lineout could be a good one to watch as two talented teams go head-to-head.

Key stat: Edinburgh have won only six of 30 meetings with Munster.

Did you know? Munster won the last meeting 10-9, the first game after Edinburgh began playing their home matches at Myreside.

Edinburgh Rugby: Dougie Fife, Jason Harries, Mark Bennett, Chris Dean, Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Jordan Lay, Neil Cochrane, Murray McCallum, Fraser McKenzie, Ben Toolis, Magnus Bradbury, John Hardie, Bill Mata.

Replacements: Cameron Fenton, Rory Sutherland, Simon Berghan, Lewis Carmichael, Cornell du Preez, Nathan Fowles, Duncan Weir, Junior Rasolea

Munster Rugby: Simon Zebo, Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, James Hart, James Cronin, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Conor Oliver, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, Brian Scott, Darren O’Shea, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack Stafford, Bill Johnston, Dan Goggin.

TV: Live on BBC2 Scotland and TG4

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start from just €35 for adults and €10 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

 

Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Duhan’s double fires Edinburgh to win over Munster

Daniel Barnes 16 Mar 2018

A brace from Duhan van de Merwe inspired in-form Edinburgh to victory over Munster.

Richard Cockerill’s troops, who remain in the hunt for a Guinness PRO14 Final Series berth, recorded their fifth win on the spin in the Championship with a low-scoring triumph over their Irish opponents from Conference A, the South African wing’s two tries proving enough for them to take the spoils.

Viliame Mata thought he had given the hosts the lead inside five minutes when he collected the ball with one hand from the breakdown before going over but, after review, the score was chalked off for an offside, the Fijian having initially placed his foot beyond the grounded ball.

Instead, Munster would take a 3-0 lead in the 20th minute through the boot of JJ Hanrahan.

The clash became a war of attrition as both sides struggled to make inroads but, with 36 minutes on the clock, Dougie Fife lit up BT Murrayfield.

The Edinburgh full-back collected a loose ball and then set off on an electrifying run from deep, leaving Munstermen trailing in his wake.

Van der Merwe had also put the pedal to the metal and arrived in support, receiving the ball from Fife to go over for a spectacular score.

The hosts would still hold a 5-3 advantage at the break but Munster went on to nose themselves back in front in the 50th minute, Hanrahan hitting successfully slotting away another penalty.

Shortly afterwards, Fife crashed over down the right side but saw his score ruled out for a forward pass – however, Edinburgh quickly engineered another try-scoring opportunity and the officials saw nothing wrong as van de Merwe touched down on the opposite flank, Jaco van der Walt converting.

That would prove to be the final decisive action of the match, Edinburgh seeing the game out to keep their season in rude health.

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138