6 Dec, 11:35
Munster Head Coach Rob Penney has named a strong starting XV for the crunch Heineken Cup clash against Perpignan at Thomond Park on Sunday (ko 12:45pm).
The liberty that is, not of just winning 44-5, but of doing so in a manner as to make the expensively assembled Toulon look fairly ordinary. In fairness they were without the main point-getter Jonny Wilkinson and when he's absent, they look just that. Felipe Contepomi was in the 10 jersey, but whatever else he is, Jonny W he aint.
Up to last Saturday, Dragons had never won at the Liberty. In fact the Dragons hadn't beaten a fellow Welsh team away from home since they'd won in Stradey Park on 1st September 2007. In more fact, Dragons hadn't won on the road in the Magners since January 2009 while Ospreys boasted a dozen straight wins at the Liberty since Northampton won there in the LV Cup last December.
And guess what ? So what. Dragons won 21-16 and the title holders are now 12 points off the pace being set by Munster.
On Sunday at the Madjeski London Irish looked set for a comfortable victory when they led 26-6 going into the final quarter. However Sale Sharks then gave them the fright of their lives tying the game 26 all before two Ryan Lamb penalties and an injury time Jonathan Joseph try, his second of the match, gave Irish a bonus point win that sends them to the top of the table.
Performance of the weekend ? Munster in Ravenhill or Exeter, captained by Tom (John's brother) Hayes over Saracens at Vicarage Road ?