Bernard Jackman believes Munster could tear up the form book against Leinster in the Guinness Pro14 semi-final, as long as they bring the right game plan.

The reigning champions haven't lost a game all year, and have won eight of the last nine meetings between the Irish rivals.

However, former Leinster and Ireland hooker Jackman thinks tomorrow's contest (7.35pm, Live on RTÉ Radio 1) is far from a foregone conclusion.

"I do think Munster have a chance," he told the RTÉ Rugby Podcast. "I don't think they are a million miles behind Leinster.

"A five-day turnaround won't have that big an effect on them.

"Kind of like a striker out of form, Munster just need one to go in off their backside and get a win by any means.

"I think this is Leinster’s final. They could go very strong this week and potentially make a few changes next week for a final (against Edinburgh or Ulster) if they are lucky enough to get through it."


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Leinster edged Munster 27-25 a fortnight ago, in the first Pro14 game since the pandemic, but Jackman saw enough in that performance and the subsequent victory over Connacht to see a path to victory for the underdogs.

"The scary thing for Munster is, they were very close to beating Leinster the last day but Leinster's lineout wasn’t good the first half, they were very poor under the high ball and Munster did a job on them in the breakdown," he said.

"There’s three real strong areas for Munster and they still couldn’t beat Leinster. So that’s obviously not a good sign.

"Having said that, to lose (RG) Snyman, to end up with a centre playing the back row and your third-choice loosehead having to play 70 minutes, there are a lot of reasons why they weren’t as clinical as they needed to be.

"And I think they looked better against Connacht, even though Connacht were poor.

"The laws now favour the jackaler more so than the attacking side"

"Munster have to go back to the air again, kick contestables and make it really uncomfortable for (Jordan) Larmour or whoever plays in the back three for Leinster. If you kick it long, you’re not going to see the ball again for a while.

"Kick-chase, make it a mess at the breakdown. In Tadhg Beirne, Chris Cloete, CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony, they have four world-class jacklers. That has to be an area of strength.

"Even if Leinster will be better at the breakdown and they know what’s coming, it doesn’t matter. The laws now favour the jackler more so than the attacking side.

"They have to be able to play off maul effectively and try to bring (Andrew) Conway and (Keith) Earls in off the wings a bit more."

Follow the Pro14 semi-final between Leinster and Munster (7.35pm Friday) with our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1.

 Listen to the RTÉ Rugby podcast on Apple PodcastsSoundcloudSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.