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Munster v Exeter: The View From Both Camps

Munster v Exeter: The View From Both Camps

As the Sea of Munster Red filtered out of the stadium and into the late evening dusk, content at clutching a 5-point deficit from their trip to Sandy Park, I was similarly satisfied to be clutching just a cheap Munster flag that was left lying at my feet in the North Stand. 

Until it snapped, anyway. 

I was now 'one of them' even if I am still nowehere near getting a SUAF tattoo just yet (not with a staunch Catholic mother), swept up by the Sea of Red and its boozy cheer, cracking Irish 'craic' and the good dose of much-needed sunshine that they carried with them. And before you question how much of that came from Ireland's southern province, we haven't seen any since they left, have we?

I proudly carried my flag, voluntarily advertising the Bank of Ireland, into the Exeter night. Don't worry, you Exeter fans, I'm not taking a woke, anti-cultural approapriation stance against your club (I've written a witty & satirical piece that went viral on that too) I did take one of yours too and they're both brandished on the wall, because that's what's so great about this game we all call rugby, right? 

With the tie so delicately poised and having a fair view of the sense from both fans, attention now turns to this weekend's return fixture. 

Of all this season's Last 16 Ties, this is perhaps the hardest one to call. Poised as tantalisingly tasty as a pint of fresh Heineken that gives this competition its title name. 

The Irish side are the only home team within 5 points of their visitors going into the second legs.

Both sides have had 'mixed' seasons that haven't quite hit the heights (yet, anyway) of recent years but they'll quietly fancy their chances of rectifying that by booking their place in the one-legged Quarter Finals on the first weekend May. Saturday's match promises to be a fascinating tussle at a frenetic Thomond Park that could well go down to the wire. 

Here's one I Prepared Earlier

The View From Munster

In fact, John Phelan of the Munster faithful predicted that very scenario, claiming that'll be a draw overall (needing a 5-point Munster win) with the Irish side winning in Extra Time. Boosted by the return to training of key Ireland internationals Peter O'Mahony, Joey Carberry and Simon Zebo as well as the returning Diarmuid Barron, the Irish province are more confident going into their home tie. 

These additions should replenish a squad that was thin on numbers in last week's tie,

meaning the Irish are more confident with 90% of Munster supporters backing their side to overturn their first leg deficit and clinch their place in the quarter finals. Less than 5% thought they'd win on the day but lose the tie overall. Only 4% of Munster fans think they'll lose on Saturday and end their European campaign at the Last 16 stage. 

A Limerick for Chiefs Supporters The View From ExeterDespite an impressive performance last weekend, the view from Devon is of an opportunity missed. Fans felt that last week's margin was slightly too slim to take over the Irish sea, with a slight tinge of frustration that they couldn't have added a healthier gloss to their score with a couple of late chances, a sentiment best encompassed by Steve Lowry, adding: "If we're not at our best they'll beat us by enough to take the overall tie. I'm nervous already,". acknowledging that Limerick is "always a tough place to win". 

With a big splinter of wood from the fence he's perched on, Pat Fox claims it could go either way but is backing his side if they are able to shake off the shackles of caution and approach the game with a postitive mentality, rather than attempt to defend their lead. Here, here!

At the time of publication, a sizeable 15% of Chiefs supporters were predicting that they'd be saying au revoir to any chance of going to Marseille at the end of next month (you can win tickets by joining our community for free here), summarised by Ben Goddard and Samuel Pidgeon who are both predicting an Irish victory but are understandbaly "happy to be proven wrong". 

A further 10% of Chiefs fans are predicting a loss in Limerick but by less than 5 points, enough to see their side through overall. Still, Although the majority of Chiefs fans (76%) are still backing their side to go through, there was certainly a sense of regret that they hadn't punished their visitors with another score at the end of the first game. 

The Exonians are worried by that they didn't add a healthier gloss to their score with a couple of late chances, a sentiment best encompassed by Steve Lowry, adding: "If we're not at our best they'll beat us by enough to take the overall tie. I'm nervous already,", acknowledging that Limerick is always a tough place to win. 

Time to get those flags back out, crack open a cold Guinness (other drink brands are available) and watch in anticipation of two great teams cheered on by two fantastic fanbases in what could be a Last 16 classic. Oh and would you look, the sun has come out again! 

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