All You Need To Know | Exeter Chiefs v Munster
11th October 2018 By The Editor
Munster travel to Sandy Park for a first competitive clash with Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs on Saturday afternoon for the province’s Champions Cup opener (3.15m, live on BT Sport).
Check out the MRSC guide to the Exeter Chiefs away trip here.
The teams faced off for the first time in pre-season with Exeter leaving Irish Independent Park with a 12-0 victory.
A huge challenge awaits Head Coach Johann van Graan and his Munster side as Exeter boast a formidable record so far this season. The Devon club have won six from six and secured five bonus points to top the English Premiership ahead of Saracens on points difference with third placed Wasps a further 10 points back.
A 39-24 win away at Bath last Friday further underlined Exeter’s credentials as Stu Townsend, Don Armand, Matt Kvesic, Ian Whiten and Jack Nowell all touched down. Ulster-born playmaker Gareth Steenson kicked 14 points haul taking him to surpass the 1,500-point mark in the Premiership.
Both squads for the clash will be named at noon tomorrow.
A Word From The Coaches
“It’s a massive task,” said Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan. “Not a lot of teams go there and even get a point. You’ve just got to look at the score and they do punish teams there. You’ve got to be at your best to get away with even a point. We’re looking to fire on all cylinders on Saturday afternoon. It’s all about us, if you worry about the opposition too much you will go off task.
“You can’t really afford any slip-ups. You’ve got to win your home games in this competition, make sure you get one or two four-try bonus points. If you were to go down losing a game away, you’ve got to make sure you pick up points.
“We’ve got Exeter away and Gloucester at home in the next two weeks, two sides who currently sit in the top four of the Premiership and are playing some brilliant rugby so we’re under no illusions about the task that awaits us.”
Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter said: “We will spend time this week tidying up a few things from the Bath game. What we might focus on are the little bits of fight you are going to have to win when a team come after you like Munster will.
“We need to talk about the fact that we need to crank up a couple of levels if we want to be successful, because I would hate to go 10 points down this week – as we did against Bath – and then have to fight our way back from there.
“Munster have rotated guys in and look like they are going to go really big, so it is going to be a really interesting game.”
Referee: Jerome Garces (Fra)
Assistant Referees: Ludovic Cayre (Fra) & Jonathan Dufort (Fra)
TMO: Eric Briquet-Campin (Fra)
Next Home Game
Heineken Champions Cup rugby returns to Thomond Park next week as Gloucester visit Limerick.
Saturday, October 20
Munster v Gloucester, Thomond Park, 1pm; Buy tickets here