Can you believe it – there are only 50 days to go to the Magners League Grand Final! Following on from last years epic shoot-out in Dublin between the Ospreys and Leinster the 2010 / 11 campaign is building up to another world class clash on Saturday, 28 May.
Reigning champions the Ospreys are still very much in the hunt for a shot at making history by possibly becoming the first team to successfully defend the Magners League title, although it is mighty Munster who are currently leading the field.
They are unbeaten at home and their 16 wins from 19 outings have already equalled the record for the most wins in a Magners League season currently held by the Scarlets (16 wins, 76 points from 22 games in 2003 / 04) and the Ospreys (16 wins, 76 points from 20 games in 2004 / 05)
Paul O’Connell’s men need two more points from their final three games to guarantee finishing on top of the regular league season and gaining poll position for the Play-Offs. The teams in first and second place in the Magners League after 22 rounds will have home advantage in the semi-finals and could then enjoy another home draw in the Grand Final if they win.
But before we crown Munster as champions let’s not forget there are still seven sides chasing a Play-Off place and the Ospreys were able to go to the RDS last season and beat the team that had finished on top at the end of the regular season. The Ospreys still have to host Munster at the Liberty Stadium before the end of the season and they have already beaten the Irish leaders there in the Heineken Cup.
Ulster are riding higher than they have done since winning the title in 2006 and Rory Best’s men are also in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup for the first time in 12 years. Something has obviously stirred in Belfast and its surrounds this season and nobody will be looking forward to a potential semi-final trip to Ravenhill.
There are three fascinating rounds of league matches still to go and ANYTHING could happen between now and Friday, 6 May and the end of Round 22.
Then it will be on to the Play-Off Semi-Finals on Friday and Saturday 13 and 14 May. Seven into four is going to be a bit of a squeeze, but which two teams will survive to the Magners League Grand Final on Saturday, 28 May.
Book the date now – you simply have to be there for one of the games of the season in the northern hemisphere!