Teams are up for tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon’s clash between Ulster and Munster at Ravenhill. KO: 2:40pm.
Ulster’s squad sees one change with Craig Gilroy replaced by Peter Nelson with the former picking up a knock during the week. However we are delighted to announce that there is no change at No. 10 with Jackson getting a chance to see off another of his challengers in the race for a World Cup berth.
|5||Franco vd Merwe|
Make no mistake the timely return to form of young Jackson, against Leinster, is a huge boost for Ulster, ranking alongside the return of Chris Henry. Jackson showed real composure against, what I reckoned to be, Ulster’s main challenge for the PRO12 Trophy and I’m happy to stand over my prediction before that match that if Ulster won they would go all the way and collect their first silverware since 2006.
While this is a home match, and Ulster will want to win, I wouldn’t be overly disappointed if they lost as there is no team they need fear home or away, come the knock out games, but, having said that, I feel that Ulster have a definite edge in the front row, or dare I say it, even in the front five and that should be enough to see them through. Munster shouldn’t be getting many set piece penalties and beyond that I don’t see where their points are going to come from!
Of course you have to be wary of any team containing the legendary Paul O’Connell, the stratospherically improved Conor Murray and the rock hard Peter O’Mahoney (players that don’t make the trip up north that often) but I’ve a bit of a nagging doubt about how much the visitors will want this one. To me O’Connell’s inclusion is more about his last competitive appearance at Ravers, in Muster colours at least!
The Turnips do have a tasty enough back row but, all things considered, I can see no more than parity up front and if that is the case the Ulster backs, and Jackson in particular, are going to do a lot more with the ball.
The FRU Predicts: This one genuinely comes down to who wants it most with two evenly matched teams. I’ve managed to talk myself into an Ulster win, despite giving it to Muster earlier in the week, but whatever happens the PRO12 trophy will be staying at Ravenhill this season! 🙂 Narrow win for Ulster.