Ulster to make Munster second best
It looks like Munster have left it to Leinster on December 29 at Thomond Park to make their statement of intent.
The flak has been flying in the aftermath of losing a game they should have won in Castres.
The bad attitude of the French left accusations that Munster did not stand up for themselves, a charge lacking any kind of evidence.
They did what they had to do and would have returned home with the four points were it not for the failure to take their chances and the failure of referee Wayne Barnes to keep control.
The choice of coach Johann van Graan to send his secondary troops to Belfast doesn't exactly smack of respect for the PRO14 League.
Ulster coach Dan McFarland will look to build on the solid platform constructed out of back-to-back wins against Scarlets in Europe.
The home province has finally begun to perform and the contribution of props Mary Moore and Eric O'Sullivan, either side of Rory Best (who is on the bench for this one) has been under-estimated.
There are just three changes as McFarland looks to maintain their upward trajectory with Ian Nagle making his debut in place of the unfortunate Iain Henderson.
They should have enough to get through this evening.
Ulster: L Ludik; H Speight, W Addison, S McCloskey, R Baloucoune; B Burns, J Cooney; E O'Sullivan, R Herring (capt), M Moore, I Nagle, K Treadwell, S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee. Replacements: R Best, K McCall, R Kane, C Ross, N Timoney; D Shanahan, J McPhillips, J Hume.
Munster: M Haley; D Sweetnam, S Arnold, J Taute (capt), A Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, A Mathewson; J Loughman, K O'Byrne, S Archer, J Kleyn, Da O'Shea, F Wycherley, C Oliver, A Botha. Replacements: M Sherry, D Kilcoyne, C Parker, G Coombes, T O'Donnell; N Cronin, B Johnston, S Daly.
ulster v munster
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