Permutations | Second place in the URC still to be decided as Munster take on Leinster in final regular season game

As the inaugural URC playoffs come ever closer, Munster’s final game of the regular season against Leinster is more important than ever.

Munster take on this years Champions Cup finalists and last years Pro 14 champions Leinster in their final game of the regular season this Saturday evening at the Aviva.

This game will help decide the red province’s final seed for the playoffs as well as the rest of the top eight.

Currently in second, Johann van Graan’s side will be desperate for a win this weekend against their oldest rivals. Solidifying the second spot will be their number one priority which will hopefully bring a home semi-final.

2 April 2022; James Lowe of Leinster dives over to score his side’s fourth try despite the tackle of Craig Casey of Munsterduring the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and Leinster at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

There are now plenty of possibilities for how Munster’s URC playoff picture could be settled. A win is the number one priority for Johann van Graan, with a victory of any kind will guarantee a home quarter-final due to a substantial points difference that has been garnered over the season.

However it gets complicated between the teams ranked from second to fifth. Munster, the C Cell Sharks and the DHL Stormers are all tied at 56 points with eleven wins apiece. While Ulster are only one point behind the three teams, they could still be looking to capitalise on any errant moves made on the final day.

A four-try bonus point win over Leinster will be the red provinces best hope of securing that second seeded spot. The most likely opponents if a second place finish could be secured are between Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors who both share 50 points apiece.

A loss would really shake up things for not just Munster but also teams like the Vodacom Bulls who are currently sitting in 6th with 53 points. Should the bulls beat the Ospreys this weekend a top four spot could be well within the South African sides grasp.

25 March 2022; Simon Zebo of Munster gets past Dewaldt Duvenage of Benetton on his way to scoring his side’s third try during the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and Benetton at Musgrave Park in Cork. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The best possible finish for Munster will be enough to hold onto their current second place position. The worst case scenario for van Graan’s men would be a sixth place finish that would see them pitted with the third ranked side.

With their European dream coming to an end a fortnight ago this will be the last hope of a Johann van Graan led Munster team winning silverware.

And even with both sides already qualified, Saturday’s contest between Leinster and Munster is one that is not to be missed, a game that will be sure to have its fair share of drama.

Watch Leinster vs Munster at 7:15pm on TG4 this Saturday.

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