No matter what way you dress it up, Munster face a massive challenge to get back to winning ways in the RaboDirect PRO12 with Edinburgh next up in Thomond Park Stadium tonight (8.30).
Never mind the ungodly hour for the kick-off, Michael Bradley brings over a squad that he used to such good effect in the Heineken Cup that sees them with two from two including a win over London Irish in Reading.
On the other hand Tony McGahan has to do without 13 players who are on the injured list plus his internationals who are confined to the sidelines under national squad player management policy.
Nor are the visitors shy about declaring their confidence about this one, ” Munster obviously have an impressive record as reigning league champions,” says their centre Tom Brown, ” but our run, which started with winning at Treviso just after they had put 50 points on Dragons, gives us confidence.
“It's still hard to get my head around exactly how we came back to beat Metro but that has given us a confidence to know we can win anywhere, including Munster.”
It's a certainly a case of youth and experience from Munster's point of view, the core of tonight's squad were involved in the British & Irish Cup win over Neath last weekend but there's a hard core of experience there in the likes of Denis Hurley, Tomas O'Leary, Marcus Horan, Denis Fogarty, Donncha O'Callaghan, Billy Holland and skipper Mick O'Driscoll who will need to lead by example if Munster are to get back to winning ways and haul themselves back into the top four.
Munster: D Hurley; L O'Dea, W Chambers, D Barnes, S Zebo; I Keatley, T O'Leary; M Horan, D Fogarty, S Archer; D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll (capt); B Holland, T O'Donnell, P Butler. Replacements: S Henry, J Ryan, J Hayes, I Nagle, J Coughlan, D Williams, T Gleeson, S Deasy.
Edinburgh: C Paterson; S Visser, J Thompson, J King, T Brown; P Godman, M Blair; K Traynor, S Lawrie (capt), J Gilding; S Cox, S Turnbull; N Talei, R Rennie, S McInally. Replacements: R Hislop, L Niven, E Lozada, R Grant, G Laidlaw, H Leonard, G Hunter.
Referee: N Paterson (Scotland).