The local derby Christmas series continues this weekend when Ulster, the RaboDirect PRO12 runaway leaders, travel to Limerick for the clash with Munster (5.30).
"The Ulster guys are going really well, so it will be a real benchmark for us, given that they are so far in front and playing some really good, tough rugby." said Munster coach Rob Penney.
"These local derbies are fantastic. I saw them (Ulster) on Friday. Brutal, big, robust, tough, physical, clinical. All the cliches and superlatives you’re probably used to hearing abiut them every week. The way they dismantled the Leinster scrum and put them under real pressure ? And at times at lineout maul drives ? They brutalised Leinster.
"They’ll be very difficult." he continued. " To come away having beaten Leinster will boost their confidence even more coming to Thomond Park, not that they needed a boost. Hopefully we can have lots of people there with their Christmas party hats on and give Ulster a hard time like they gave us a hard time up there."
And it's a game Penney is really looking forward to. "Bring it on — It’s beautiful, isn’t it?"
He begins the preparation in earnest today with a training spin in Cork but will do so without his international contingent who will spend today and tomorow in Carton House Co. Kildare on a two day international camp.
Tickets are on sale for this game online here. The ticket office will also be open tomorrow, Friday 28th December from 10am to 4pm (Musgrave Park and Thomond Park) and also on match day, Saturday 29th December from 10am to kick off 5.30pm (Thomond Park only).
Tickets are priced as follows: Terrace €20, Cat A €40, Cat B €30, Family €40