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Stephen Larkham outlines how Munster will combat Exeter Chiefs

Stephen Larkham

Stephen Larkham has revealed that Munster are preparing to combat Exeter Chiefs’ possession game and kick-chase this Saturday.

Exeter are notorious for being able to hold onto the ball for countless phases deep in the opposition’s 22, while they pummel away at the try line from close range.

While that tactic hasn’t been as successful for the Chiefs this season as it has been in recent years, it is still a valuable weapon in their arsenal and one that Munster will be very aware of.

Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham confirmed as much at a press conference while he also revealed that the province will be hoping to negate Exeter’s kicking game.

Stephen Larkham on where Munster are wary of Exeter.

“They’ve got a very distinct style of play. If you look at the Bath game at the weekend, that first passage of play, they have the ability to hold the ball for multiple phases,” Larkham said.

“We’ve seen that over the years and they’ve brought their game back to where it has been over the last couple of years in the last month. Probably a patchy season for them but they’re playing some really good rugby with ball in hand.

“They’re very dangerous. They certainly challenge opposition teams by holding the ball, but in saying that they’ve also got a very good kicking game, a very good kick-chase game. They’re a well-rounded team.

“From an opposition perspective, we’re very conscious of their ability to hold the ball, so we’re prepping for that. Then they’ve got a very good kicking game so we’re prepping for that as well.”

Two-legged fixtures are taking place in the last 16.

Munster will be aiming to win at Sandy Park on Saturday evening, but it’s not the end of their Heineken Champions Cup season if they don’t, as a second leg will be played at Thomond Park the following Saturday.

This weekend will be the first time that two-legged fixtures will take place in the competition, and it is a format that no team has any recent experience of.

Thomond Park is often a happy hunting ground for Munster, although they will be hoping to take a positive points difference into the second leg at the famous Limerick stadium.

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