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Munster Will Have To Do It The Hard Way

25th January 2005 By Munster Rugby

Munster Will Have To Do It The Hard Way

If Munster are to win the Heineken Cup this year then they will have to do it the hard way after the semi-final draw today determined that if they manage to overcome Biarritz they travel away

If Munster are to win the Heineken Cup this year then they will have to do it the hard way after the semi-final draw today determined that if they manage to overcome Biarritz in the April 3rd quarter final, they will then have to travel away to play the winner of the Stade Francais v Newcastle quarter final match.

And while the Munster supporters in particular have good reason to cringe at the draw their Leinster counterparts will once again have the comforts of a D4 venue, should they overcome Leicester Tigers, when they were drawn to play either Toulouse or Northampton in the other semi-final.

And still at this stage there is no word where Munster will play Biarritz in the quarter final and it was that issue that concerned coach Alan Gaffney, rather than the semi-final. “The question of where the semi-final is or isn’t, is totally irrelevant at this stage. We have,” he said with a wry smile, ” the not inconsiderable issue of playing Biarritz first. Now that is particularly relevant. Where we play them is what’s on my mind and on the player’s mind, first and foremost. And that’s what will occupy our thinking up to the time we play them. We won’t look beyond the quarter-finals.”

If Munster were to defy the bookie’s odds, and win in the Basque country, then they would, barring a major upset, face Stade Francais in the semi-final.

Last time they played the glamour side of French rugby at the semi-final stage was in 2001 in Stade Nord in Lille when the Parisien side won 16-15.

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