A FIGHT PROMOTER might tell you that these two just plain don’t like each other – and they’d be right.
Munster and Saracens will meet for the sixth time in European competition tomorrow at Thomond Park. And if previous results are anything to go by, it’s going to be another intense and unbearably close match-up.
Here’s how Munster have fared against the Premiership side in their five meetings so far.
1. Saracens 34 Munster 35
The first meeting between the sides in the Heineken Cup pool stages in November 1999 was the highest scoring contest between the pair.
Munster went in trailing 21 – 9 at the break in Vicarage Road. But came roaring back against with tries from Jeremy Stainton, Kiliian Keane, Mike Mullins and Anthony Foley against a Francois Pienaar’s Saracens.
2. Munster 31 Saracems 30
The combined score went down, but there was still precious little to separate the teams when they met in January 2000.
Munster were well on their way to forging a reputation as a side who had what it took to eke out a result. Again, the southern province trailed at the break, but despite George Hook writing his home province off, Keith Wood’s late try and Ronan O’Gara’s in-off-the-upright conversion gave Munster another one-point win.Source: Conor Ryan/YouTube
3. Munster 18 Saracens 16
It was a long wait until their paths would cross again, but it was the most important fixture to date, a Heineken Cup semi-final that stood between Munster and their second European Cup.Source: munstersabu/YouTube
Munster went to the Ricoh Arena, now the new home of Wasps, and after O’Gara and Alan Quinlan tries brought an eight-point half-time lead there was a nervy ending until Munster forced a penalty to halt Sarries’ late surge.
4. Munster 15 Saracens 9
The two teams were last drawn in a pool together in 2012. Though many felt the balance of power in the rivalry shifting, Munster maintained their 100% record thanks to five O’Gara penalties in an incredibly intense win over the ‘Wolf Pack’.
5. Saracens 19 Munster 13
It’s just under two years since the 100% record ended, the second of the back-to-back meetings took Munster to Vicarage Road again. And although Doug Howlett pulled Munster to 10 -10 parity at half-time, Owen Farrell kicked three penalties to ROG’s one
Which way will tomorrow’s meeting go?