Munster and Leinster could both be on 15 points in their respective Heineken Champions Cup pools by tonight, but the sides faces different challenges.
Johann van Graan and Leo Cullen will both be reasonably pleased with where their sides sit. They each have two wins and "if only" moments from the other fixture. Munster’s draw at a wind-swept Sandy Park could just as easily have been victory or defeat, such was the tight nature of that contest, while Leinster’s defeat in Toulouse witnessed a fine comeback, with a losing bonus point a silver lining of some sorts.
Both sides too have benefited from the presence of under-performing Premiership sides in Europe: Wasps in Pool 1 and the Chiefs in Pool 2.
So what lies in store this weekend?
Munster travel to France looking to put back-to-back wins over Castres, but in truth, more questions surround the home side.
One week later than advertised, Joey Carbery is set to make his first start alongside Ireland half-back partner Conor Murray, though JJ Hanrahan will feel a little sorry for himself after last week’s exploits.
The game at Thomond Park won’t live long in the memory, but will the Top 14 champions - who could keep their own qualification hopes alive with a win - show a little more ambition?
Former Munster player James Coughlan doesn’t believe they will, but that the forward-dominated approach could be enough to see them over the line If Munster aren’t fully disciplined.
With Gloucester away and all-but-out Exeter to visit in the final two outings, this represents arguably Munster’s biggest challenge of the group.
Castres are often a different beast at Stade Pierre-Fabre and a victory of any description would be well received by Van Graan, though a losing bonus point is the bare minimum requirement.
With the weather in France predicted to be every bit as bad as Dublin this weekend, coupled with Castres’ likely approach, this game is likely to be in the melting pot with the clock going into the red.
Flag-gate was a side show at the Rec last weekend, but victory for Leinster at the Aviva Stadium will see Bath waving the white flag as far as this year’s competition is concerned.
Rob Kearney’s injury means three changes in personnel, but you’d be hard pushed to say the starting XV is any weaker.
Jordan Larmour, whose threat Bath need little reminding of after last week’s exploits, moves to 15, Adam Byrne comes into the wing, Rory O’Loughlin partners Garry Ringrose in midfield and Jack Conan is named at number 8.
The inclusion of Conan should offer a better balanced back row, with Dan Leavy back in his more customary seven jersey.
Leo Cullen admitted afterwards that they were somewhat fortunate to get the winning try last Saturday, and some of the rustiness was understandable considering it was the first time a full-strength Leinster had taken to the field since before the November internationals.
Another week together in camp and in front of an expectant crowd should be advantageous for the tournament's top try scorers (13), but the expected downpour in Dublin could be somewhat of a leveller.
Todd Blackadder’s side have toiled for large parts of the season, but there is no doubting they possess the attacking weaponry to hurt Leinster.
Adam Byrne's defensive game is likely to be tested by his opposite number Semesa Rokoduguni. The Bath winger has averaged 9.8 metres per carry so far, the best rate of any of the 46 players to make 30+ carries.
Their formidable back row demonstrated last week that the breakdown, normally such a strength for the holders, will be very much up for grabs.
With Toulouse strong favourites to claim all five points at home to Wasps, a winning bonus point is very much on Cullen’s Christmas wishlist ahead of a showdown with the French giants in a month.
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