Conditions are predicted to be ideal for the Munster versus Glasgow Warriors RaboDirect PRO12 clash tonight at Scotstoun (8.05) where the home side are expecting their biggest crowd of the season.
And the expectation among the home supporters will be of victory for their side to copperfasten their place at the top of the table and take a step closer to a home semi-final.
For Munster it’s a simple case of win or see the glimmer of hope for a place in the play offs finally doused. They haven't had the best of starts to this trip, flight delays meaning the Cork based players not getting to their team hotel until 1.30am.
The presence of Paul O’Connell had a galvanising influence last week but with all due respects to Connacht, the Warriors are better equipped to limit his influence and this will be a serious step up for him and his team-mates from last week.
Donnacha Ryan, Peter O’Mahony and Conor Murray have been left at home, kept presumably to be fresh for The Stoop on Sunday week and that means their positional colleagues tonight are all auditioning for a place in the Heineken Cup quarter final match day squad.
And as preparations go Rob Penney couldn’t have asked for a better one. This is a Glasgow side, in a rich vein of form who can drop in internationals backs Ruaridh Jackson, Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Sean Lamont into a side who were desperately unlucky in Dublin last weekend. They've won their last five matches in all competitions at Scotstoun since losing 6-9 to Castres in the Heineken Cup in December and make no secret of their ambition to claim one of the two spots that will give them a home semi final.
So Munster need to ratchet it up a good deal further than last week if they’re to keep themselves in the hunt for the play-offs as well as heading for London in good heart.
Munster: F Jones; D Howlett, C Laulala, J Downey, J Murphy; R O’Gara, D Williams; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, P O’Connell; P Butler, T O’Donnell , J Coughlan. Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, S Archer, B Holland, N Ronan, C Sheridan, I Keatley, I Dineen.
Glasgow: S Hogg; S Maitland, S Lamont, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe; R Jackson, N Matawalu; R Grant, P MacArthur, J Welsh, T Swinson, A Kellock capt, J Strauss, J Barclay, R Wilson. Replacements: D Hall, O Fainga'anuku, M Low, T Ryder, R Harley, H Pyrgos, D Weir, M Bennett