Cheika’s boys can deliver for Munster
Munster, one of three teams in the mix for fourth spot in the race for a top four Magners League finish, will expect rivals Leinster to do them a favour on Sunday afternoon.
While Munster are in action away to fellow-hopefuls, Cardiff Blues, Leinster will be hosting Edinburgh at the RDS where the visitors are required to bank a bonus point win and then hope the result in Wales goes their way.
Munster’s last Magners League win in Cardiff was in November 2005 — at the Arms Park — and with form in this fixture traditionally favouring the hosts the Blues will fancy their chances.
Each of the last four meetings between the pair having been won by the home side.
Simultaneously, Edinburgh will be trying to pip both. To do so, they must register an improbable bonus point win in Dublin.
Michael Cheika’s men have the motivation of requiring one further point in order to guarantee a home semi-final tie.
But if Edinburgh need a straw at which to grasp, they should note history is not on Leinster’s side. For while they beat Edinburgh 21-19 at Murrayfield back in September, they have never managed a same-season Magners League double over the Scots.
At best Munster can finish with 49 points by winning and taking a four-try bonus. A win with no bonus would give them 48 points while a draw would see them finish with 46. Defeat with a losing bonus would leave them with 45 points. Cardiff will finish with 44 points by beating Munster, and 45 if they score four or more tries.
Edinburgh’s long-odds prospects are wholly dependent on them leaving the RDS with a maximum five points and Cardiff beating Munster, but not taking a bonus.