Munster’s season will not be defined by whether they win or lose against Saracens in the Champions Cup on Saturday (KO 3.15pm, live coverage on RTÉ Radio 1) says Alan Quinlan, but the former player believes sticking to the gameplan will serve them well.
Mark McCall’s side have been a dominant force both domestically in Europe in recent years and will fancy their chances of reaching their third decider in four years.
A draw away to Scarlets is the closest they have come to defeat in Europe this season, and swept away the challenge of Glasgow Warriors 38-13 last time out.
Rassie Erasmus has overseen a huge transformation in Munster this year, and amid the heartache of the passing of head coach Anthony Foley, the two-time European champions remain on course to secure a home semi-final in the Pro12 and are just 80 minutes away from a first Champions Cup final appearance in nine years.
Munster followers will need little reminding of their last clash with Sarries – a humbling 33-10 defeat at the Allianz Arena two years ago – where a Billy Vunipola-inspired team powered past the visitors.
While there has been a big change in personnel for the Irish province since then – Denis Hurley and Pat Howard formed the midfield partnership that day while Felix Jones and Paul O’Connell also played that day at Allianz Park, Quinlan sees a similar gameplan from the Aviva Premiership side.
"Physically Saracens will impose themselves, they are very strong and accurate in the way they play," the Cadbury’s ambassador said.
"They are full of confidence, they are the current holders. They have been the dominant team for the last couple of years in England and possess a huge amount of international experience and power.
"They try to force you into mistakes and errors with their pressure game.
"Munster will know that. They will just try and focus on themselves and make sure they match that physicality.
"Munster have got to deal with that on Saturday."
With Conor Murray in a race to be fit for Saturday, and doubts remaining over CJ Stander and Darren Sweetnam, Saracens remain odds-on to reach the final, but Quinlan believes that Munster have shown enough this season to suggest they can upset the odds yet again.
"I think they have found a way all season. No matter what happens, even if they are to lose the game, they have had a fantastic season to be in a semi-final," he said.
"But they will want more.
Having the game at the Aviva, with more than 50,000 people there, the majority behind Munster, it’s going to be a great occasion.
"They will need that lift to help against a quality side like Saracens."
Listen to live coverage of Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final between Munster and Saracens at the Aviva Stadium on RTÉ Radio 1 (KO 3.15pm)
Cadbury Boost ambassadors, Alan Quinlan, Fiona Coghlan and Jordi Murphy, were joined by Dave Kearney, to launch the first ever #BoostYourAwareness Touch Rugby Blitz, which will take place on Friday, 19th May, in Lansdowne Rugby Football Club. The day-long event, which will raise in excess of €10,000 for Cadbury’s charity partner Aware, will see 20 teams compete in the blitz – which aims to highlight and educate participants on the importance of maintaining positive mental health, by staying active. Teams can register for the blitz at http://www.irishrugby.ie/touch/register.php. Entry is charged at €500 per team, with the entry fee in full going directly to Aware. Team registration closes at 5pm on Friday 12th May.