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Munster relying on other results for quarter spot

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Keith Earls

Keith Earls

SPORTSFILE

Keith Earls

It couldn’t be simpler for Munster and yet it couldn’t be more difficult. Getting a result in a miracle match is one thing; requiring four miracles in the one weekend quite another.

First, the easy bit. Ospreys are a mess and a five-point win tomorrow is inevitable for Munster. Now, the hard part. Munster must get a result that is worth three points more than that achieved by Saracens; this is why five points is non-negotiable.

If only this were the least of their self-inflicted worries.

Gloucester, Northampton and Glasgow are also ahead of Munster in the race for the third best runners-up slot and Munster need them all to lose.

All three are away – to already-qualified Toulouse, Lyon and Sale respectively – and the fact that the turf accountants reckon that the combination Munster require might only happen once in 40 attempts says it all.

“We just need to do what we can and then if the chips fall our way, great, and if it doesn’t then we had opportunities early in the competition,” says coach Johann van Graan.

Keith Earls with a minor knee injury and Jean Kleyn (neck) are ruled out.

Verdict: Munster

Munster: M Haley; A Conway, C Farrell, R Scannell; C Nash; JJ Hanrahan, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, S Archer, F Wycherley, B Holland, P O’Mahony  (capt), J O’Donoghue, CJ Stander. Reps:  K O’Byrne, J Loughman, J Ryan, A Botha, J O’Sullivan, C Casey, B Healy, D Goggin.

Ospreys: D Evans; H Dirksen, G North, S Williams, L Morgan; L Price, S venter; N Smith, S Otten, M Fia, B Davies, A Wyn Jones, D Lydiate, J Tipuric capt, D Baker. Reps: S Parry, D marfo, G Gaijon, L Ashley, O Cracknell, S Cross, R Morgan-Williams, C Evans.

Referee: Mathieu Reybal (France)

Munster v Ospreys, Thomond Park, 1pm, LIVE Bt Sport 2