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Sunday 17 December 2017

Pro 12 League Previews: Munster can take Cardiff

Antony Foley
Antony Foley

FOR all their inadequacies in Europe this season, Anthony Foley's men are well-placed to have a real cut at the PRO12 League - tomorrow they face Cardiff Blues in Independent Park (7.35, Live TG4).

The key is to not just finish in the Top-4, but to climb up to a number one ranking because Fortress Thomond can be rebuilt for one-off occasions.

At present, these Reds are tucked in behind leaders The Ospreys and Glasgow Warriors with a miniscule two points between them.

They have won their last half-dozen at Musgrave with Cardiff suffering four defeats and one draw against the Irish provinces this season.

Coach Foley will stick to his tried and trusted methods to keep in the hunt for the trophy they so badly need.

VERDICT: Munster

Ulster will be too strong

THE Northern Province has lost just once this season at Ravenhill.

It was to Toulon. Treviso, who they face tonight at Kingspan Stadium (7.35, Live BBCNI), bare no resemblance to the European champions. Craig Gilroy will win his 100th cap, thus the yougest player to reach that milestone, in a strong Ulster side.

ULSTER: L Ludik; C Gilroy, D Cave, L Marshall, M Allen, I Humphreys, R Pienaar; C Black, R Herring, W Herbst, L Stevenson, F Van der Merwe, R Wilson (capt), M McComish, N Williams.

VERDICT: Ulster

No Lam to the slaughter

THIS is the time for Connacht, in sixth, to strike out for Champions Cup qualification against the club five points behind in eighth.

Pat Lam's men face the Scarlets on Sunday in Parc Y Scarlets (12.45, Live SC4).

The Welsh club will be far more inconvenienced by the Six Nations, losing the likes of Liam Williams, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Scott Williams and Rhys Priestland.

VERDICT: Connacht

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