Saracens easily beat Glasgow 38-13 in their semi final two weeks ago, setting up a Champions Cup semi-final against Munster at the Aviva on April 22nd.
The high level of the English side’s performance was highlighted on On BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight with Saracens topping the stats in terms of clean breaks, dominant collisions, tackle success and set piece success.
England international Matt Banahan(16 caps), who currently plays for Bath, identified the areas Munster will have to target against Saracens if they are to progress to the final.
For me what stands out is that set piece success. To stop them at source is the main part. If you disrupt it and not give them clean ball at lineouts and scrums, you’re going to stop those dominant collisions which will affect first phase and second phase.
I’d be concentrating on set piece success and trying to nullify that or at least make it scrappy ball.
Banahan is on to something when he talks of Munster’s line out. Peter O’Mahony has been superb this year and Niall Scannell and Rhys Marshall have shared throwing duties with both players finding their jumpers with consistency.
Indeed Munster’s line out efficiency has been just north of 90\% this season. The line out is instrumental in allowing Munster to grind out tries from their rolling maul which is another significant weapon in their armoury.
Banahan also suggested that Munster should attempt to limit the amount of ball which is kicked away poorly.
We know they’ve got a good kicking game. We know what’s coming back. They’re a team that squeeze you.
I’d like to see a stat of how many opportunities they are given to score and how many they score. I think it’s very high up percentage wise. If you give them opportunities to score, they’re a really good team.
You’ve got to stop kicking the ball away poorly and giving them clean set piece. If you stop them those two at source, you stop them getting those dominant collisions and put them into their plan B on the backfoot.
You can watch Matt Banahan speak about Saracens on BT’s Rugby Tonight below.