The Ospreys see the visit of Munster this afternoon as the ideal opportunity to settle an old score according to their Kiwi back row Marty Holah.
“Our performances against Munster last season were very disappointing.” he told Mark Orders in today’s South Wales Evening Post. “But things don’t always stay the same.
Last season Munster scored over 100 points in their three wins over the Welsh region but it may be the Heineken Cup quarter final defeat that rankles the most. “While we can’t do anything about the way we played against Munster in the Heineken Cup last term,” he says, ” I don’t think we’ll have a repeat performance.We have really good ideas and a smart game-plan to bring to the table on Saturday.”
And the 33 year old who won 32 caps for his native New Zealand also feels that this could be a Munster side who’ve lost their edge, ” Maybe the Munster we’ve seen this term isn’t the Munster we’ve come to expect over the past couple of years, ” he ventures.
The Ospreys are without big-hitters such as Lee Byrne, Adam Jones, Mike Phillips, Ryan Jones and Ian Gough while head coach Sean Holley has left James Hook on the bench.
Munster arrived in Swansea without Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, David Wallace and Denis Leamy and give their Sprinboks prop Wian du Preez his first start while Doug Howlett returns to action after injury in the game against Benetton Treviso.
Both coaches share the same challenge of integrating players back into the fold after the autumn international series and with European matches looming this afternoon’s encounter means much more than just the Magners League points that are on offer.
Munster: P Warwick; D Howlett, J de Villiers, L Mafi, K Earls; R O’Gara, T O’Leary; W du Preez, D Fogarty, J Hayes; D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell; A Quinlan, N Ronan, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Varley, T Buckley, D Ryan, N Williams, P Stringer, I Dowling, D Hurley.
Ospreys: G Owen; T Bowe, S Parker, A Bishop, N Walker; D Biggar, L Davies; D Jones, R Hibbard, C Mitchell; A-Wyn Jones, J Thomas; J Collins, M Holah, F Tiatia. Replacements: H Bennett, P James, C Griffiths, A Lloyd, B Lewis, R Webb, J Hook.