Depleted Munster expect grilling from Cardiff

Anthony Foley uses all resources so his side can withstand the heat in the Arms Park

Former Ireland under-20 centre Rory Scannell starts at number 12 for Munster. Photograph: Inpho.

Former Ireland under-20 centre Rory Scannell starts at number 12 for Munster. Photograph: Inpho.

 

 

Cardiff Blues v Munster
Arms Park, 5.15pm
Sky Sports 2

Glancing ahead to the November internationals plenty can be inferred from this Munster line-up. Ian Keatley’s absence improves his chance of benching against the Springboks in seven days’ time or starting against Georgia on November 16th. Or both.

Same goes for Dave Foley and Tommy O’Donnell. All three have earned Ireland opportunities due to recent Munster form.

Considering tighthead prop has become such a problematic area for Ireland this month, Stephen Archer and Declan Fitzpatrick provide cover for both Munster and Ulster.

Clearly both are in need of game time with Archer or Connacht’s Rodney Ah You expected to feature against South Africa.

Presuming Mike Ross trains next week, the reserve will only be needed for 30 minutes here and there.

Andrew Conway also returns from Carton House having been a late promotion to national camp after an determined, workmanlike performance against Saracens. Felix Jones was not released as Rob Kearney struggles to regain fitness.

Of course none of this matters to Anthony Foley. Johne Murphy goes to fullback, JJ Hanrahan is the outhalf and Donncha O’Callaghan assumes the leadership role with Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony in Maynooth.

Stander availability

At least the cupboard isn’t entirely bare as CJ Stander’s ineligibility for Ireland keeps the South African in a backrow with Paddy Butler and Robin Copeland.

 

That’s where the bulk of yardage will come from. Copeland was squeezed out of the European starting XV against Saracens so expect a bullish approach against the club that gave him his wings.

Former Ireland under-20s centre Rory Scannell gets an opportunity in the troublesome 12 jersey but don’t expect anything overly expansive from the travellers, even with Conway and Gerhard van den Heever on the wings.

Foley has consistently preached the need for Munster to play to their strengths and Cardiff director of rugby Mark Hammett has an idea what will be hurled at the Blues defence.

“Munster are a challenging side who have a strong pick and go game, run hard and direct and are strong technically. We’ve got to be right on the money from the start because we will be tested all over the field.”

Cardiff are also without several internationals, like Sam Warburton, but Adam Jones should give John Ryan a decent grilling in the scrum.

Still, Munster look stronger.

CARDIFF BLUES: R Patchell; R Smith, A Thomas, G Evans, L Amorosino; G Davies, L Williams; S Hobbs, M Rees (capt), A Jones; J Hoeata, F Paulo; J Turnbull, J Navidi, M Vosawai. Replacements: K Dacey, T Davies, T Filise, M Cook, E Jenkins, L Jones, G Smith, D Fish.
MUNSTER: J Murphy; A Conway, A Smith, R Scannell, G van den Heever; JJ Hanrahan, D Williams; J Ryan, K O’Byrne, BJ Botha; D O’Callaghan (capt), B Holland; CJ Stander, P Butler, R Copeland. Replacements: E Guinazu, A Cotter, S Archer, S McCarthy, B O’Mahony, C Sheridan, J Holland, R O’Mahony.
Referee: M MItrea (FIR).
Verdict: Munster win.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.