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Blues Know Exactly What’s Required

9th December 2006 By Munster Rugby

Following on from Leicester Tigers 28-13 victory over Bourgoin in a saturated Stade Pierre Rajon on Friday evening, Cardiff Blues will know that nothing less than a win over Munster will suffice today at The Arms Park.

Following on from Leicester Tigers 28-13 victory over Bourgoin in a saturated Stade Pierre Rajon on Friday evening, Cardiff Blues will know that nothing less than a win over Munster will suffice today at The Arms Park.

Results so far this weekend have certainly not gone Cardiff Blues’ way and with away trips to Thomond Park and Welford Road to follow they’ll know that nothing less than a victory over Munster will suffice today.

They come into this game on something of a high having dispatched London Irish from the EDF Cup last week and Blues coach David Young has made just one change with Lions centre Tom Shanklin coming onto the wing in place of the injured Mosese Luveitasau.

Munster had already to plan for this game without Anthony Foley and Jerry Flannery before Marcus Horan came a cropper in the autumn international series and Mick O’Driscoll picked up an ankle injury in training prior to the Connacht game. Then Barry Murphy and John Kelly fell by the wayside having picked up knocks in that game leaving Munster showing seven changes – two positional – from the side that came through what was a bruising encounter with Connacht.

The Blues hold the psychological advantage in that they have never been beaten by Munster in this competition and when the clubs met here earlier in the year, the Blues, with tries from Chris Czekaj and Scott Morgan, were 22-13 winners.

Munster show about ten changes from that day while Cardiff Blues have three and one significant one is the arrival of former All Black Ben Blair who has certainly added extra potency to an already lively backline.

The performance against Leicester Tigers was enough of an indicator of the worth of this Cardiff Blues side and with their passionate home crowd roaring them on they will start favourite to put a halt to Munster’s gallop and open up this group.


Munster;
S Payne; I Dowling, L Mafi, T Halstead, A Horgan; R O’Gara, P Stringer; F Pucciariello, F Sheahan, J Hayes; D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell capt; A Quinlan, D Wallace, D Leamy.
Replacements: A Kyriacou, D Hurley, C Wyatt, J O’Sullivan, T O’Leary, J Manning, C Cullen 
Cardiff Blues: B Blair; T Shanklin, J Robinson, M Stcherbina, C Czekaj; N Robinson, M Phillips; G Jenkins, T Rhys Thomas, T Filise; De Jones, J Goode; S Morgan, M Williams, X Rush capt.
Replacements: J Yapp, D Goodfield, B Davies, M Lewis, E Fairhurst, N MacLeod, T James.

Referee: Christophe Berdos.

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