Munster face another test of character against Glasgow Warriors this afternoon and Shane Byrne is hopeful that the motivation that saw them surge after the death of Anthony Foley is still there.
The two-time Heineken Cup winners endured a lacklustre few seasons but seem reborn in the aftermath of Foley’s passing in Paris last October.
The day after the head coach’s funeral they swept aside the challenge of the Warriors and last week demolished Racing away from home in the re-fixed Pool 1 tie.
While that result may have provided an element of closure around some aspects of the grieving process, Byrne, speaking on RTÉ 2fm’s Game On, reckons a result in Scotstoun (kick-off 5.30pm) may signal something special is on the cards.
"If they win this game away from home, even though a point may do them to qualify, I tell you you don’t know where they could stop"
“Was there a sense of closure with it last week?” he asked.
“That was the game that was rearranged and hopefully not.
“Hopefully that it is something that they have genuinely made this step up, for whatever reason, whatever the motivation behind it was, that Munster are no longer that same team they were six, seven months ago. They are now a team that want to challenge in everything.
“If they win this game away from home, even though a point may do them to qualify, I tell you you don’t know where they could stop.”
Johan Erasmus’s side sit three points ahead of Glasgow in the pool and a win would guarantee top spot ahead of next week’s home tie against a Racing side with nothing to play for.
“They’re on the crest of a wave,” added the former Ireland international.
“We all know that the momentum they’ve built up has been huge but this is probably one of the biggest challenges that they’re going to face.
“Glasgow really have to win this game if they have the ambition of finishing top of the [pool] considering what Munster have ahead of them next week.
“It’s going to be a hell of a challenge on that artificial pitch. As we know they have amazing attacking ability, Glasgow, they’ll be looking to score tries.
“Munster’s defence has been very strong but this to me is the biggest challenge they’re going to have.”