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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 24 October 2020

An away semi-final doesn't daunt Munster but injury concerns stack up for Anthony Foley

Dragons are the visitors to Musgrave Park on Saturday with a home semi-final on the line.

Foley isn't concerned about other results.
Foley isn't concerned about other results.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

SINCE THEIR EARLY elimination from Europe, Munster have been able to concentrate their efforts on the Guinness Pro12 and with just one game of the regular season remaining, Anthony Foley’s side are already guranteed of a playoff berth.

However, last week’s dramatic draw in Belfast means the southern province could miss out on a home semi-final as they enter the final weekend in third place, although level on points with the top two.

It’s set to be a thrilling Super Saturday in the Pro12 but Foley insists his players are focused on their job as Newport Gwent Dragons visit Musgrave Park.

A bonus-point victory over the Welsh side may not be enough depending on how Glasgow and Ospreys fare against Ulster and Connacht respectively.

“It’s kind of a strange one as all four teams will fight to the bitter end to get a home semi but we have one of the best records in the league,” Foley said on Tuesday.

“You deal with what you have and we need to come here on Saturday and put in a performance and hope other results go our way and if they do we can take it but we’re not daunted if we have to go away.”

Last weekend’s 23-23 draw with Ulster has taken its toll with Simon Zebo and Dave Kilcoyne unable to train on Tuesday while Tommy O’Donnell has already been ruled out of the clash with Dragons.

Despite leaving Kingspan Stadium with his arm in a sling, there was good news for Felix Jones, however, after receiving the all clear amid fears of a broken bone in his hand.

“There was a couple of bangs and knocks over the weekend and we’re assessing them,” Foley continued. “Dave Kilcoyne is currently undergoing return to play protocols after the knock he took and we waiting on Tommy’s scan.

“Zebo’s getting a scan today as he was getting back spams during the game and got an knock early in the game and that set him back. We’ll have to wait and see if they’re fit.”

Munster are hoping to win the Pro12 for the first time since 2011 but Foley isn’t getting ahead of himself with a game still to be won this weekend.

A general view of Munster training Munster were put through their paces in Cork on Tuesday Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dragons are floundering in ninth position but have turned over Leinster twice this term and advanced to the Challenge Cup semi-finals.

“They’re a very good side and they mix youth and experience. They’ve shown up very well and we had a very physical game against them over at Rodney Parade and we’d expect the same at the weekend.

“There’s pressure to win and where it takes you from there. We were 9-7 down over there and we know how good they are.”

A sell-out crowd is expected at Musgrave Park for what could be Munster’s final home game of the season but Foley hopes the fans get behind his team to give them the best chance of getting over the line.

“I think it’s worth it be coming down as we want a big crowd and to get as much support as we can into the stadium. We want to full avail of the home advantage and a packed ground will help us do that.”

Kick-off on Saturday is at 3pm with the game live on TG4.

Audio courtesy of @BigRedBench

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Ryan Bailey

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