Munster v Sale Sharks Live

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Munster                          Sale Sharks
Sunday 25th January 15:15 GMT


Going into the final round of qualifying fixtures of the European Rugby Champions Cup this weekend, there are very few genuine "dead rubbers". However, the match at Thomond Park on Sunday between twice European Champions Munster, and their visitors from England, Sale Sharks, is one of those fixtures.

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The qualifying campaign has been disappointing for both sides, although with their European pedigree, Munster probably entered this season's campaign with the greater ambitions and expectations. Last week's 10-33 pummelling at Allianz Park by Saracens, ensured that the Munstermen would be eliminated from the tournament before the knockout stages, for only the second time in 17 seasons.

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The Saracens defeat not only confirmed their elimination, but was also the heaviest defeat suffered by the Irish Province since 1996 in European competition Although Sale Sharks have lost all five games in the Pool, those statistics are somewhat misleading, as they were beaten at home narrowly in all three matches by Munster, Saracens and Clermont Auvergne. When the teams met at the AJ Bell Stadium in October, Munster needed a last gasp drop-goal to sneak victory. However, their record at Thomond Park is amongst the most impressive in Europe, and it would be a major surprise if the Sharks were to impose a second home Pool defeat this season on the big red machine.

Tags: European Rugby Champions Cup, Thomond Park, Munster, Sale Sharks
Posted: 25th January 2015

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