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Niall Ronan, David Wallace & Alan Quinlan pictured at training
Dan Sheridan
Another Massive Challenge
4 April 2010, 1:57 pm
By The Editor
Whereas a few short weeks ago it looked like a a clear cut Irish Scottish semi-final combination, right now there are six sides vying for the three play off places behind Leinster.
And the incentive for Michael Cheika's team tonight in Galway is to secure the four points that will guarantee them a home semi and thus allow them to fully concentrate on the Heineken Cup which in turn would see them send an Academy strewn side to Glasgow for Friday's clash with Warriors.

That's bad news for Munster who could find themselves going into Saturday's encounter with Ospreys at least three points adrift of the Scottish side and with one game left to play, away to Cardiff Blues whose interest could be very keen were they to win in Rodney Parade the same night.

On a positive note, Munster will know exactly what's required after three of those in the chase with them for the play-offs, play the night before. The tussle at the top also highlights the importance of that win in Galway last Sunday, as Shaun Payne acknowledges, "Yes, it was a very satisfying win for us. We all had big smiles on our faces after that game especially with such a changed squad from even just the week before."

"Some of the young lads were outstanding. The forwards particularly, I'd have to say, were very very good as well of course as some of the older guys. I thought Mick O'Driscoll was excellent. But anyone who came into the squad really added to it." he said.

"Of course every game at this stage of the season is important. That Connacht game was important to us in terms of qualifications for the knock outs. That's more apparent now when you look at the top of the table and the competition for (knock-out) places

In terms of the 27 strong squad for Saturday, Payne explained. "We always like to cover all the bases when it comes to selection and there's always niggles. So there was a necessity to have that size squad."

"This Ospreys game was always going to be important to us, the game's significance itself in term of Magners qualification. And as a lead-in to the Heineken Cup semi final. In terms of selection, at this time of year there's all sorts of permutations. At the minute we make our selections week by week on what's necessary to get us through each individual game. But always with the next game in mind."

"Obviously its an important game but I'm pretty sure Cardiff will be an important game as well but for now we'll set our minds to what will be a massive game. Another massive game."

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