The Interesting Match Facts Ahead Of Munster’s Champions Cup Semi-Final With Saracens
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Not long to go now…
Munster and Saracens lock horns this weekend in the first of two Champions Cup semi-finals. Munster only have a short trip up the motorway to the Aviva, but the reigning champions will arrive in Dublin Airport as slight favourites.
Heading into the all-important clash, we’ve got some really interesting match facts, courtesy of Opta and the EPCR, that make for some interesting reading.
• This will be Munster’s 12th European Cup semi-final – a record for the competition – while Saracens have reached the semi-finals for a sixth time and for the fifth season in a row.
• Munster will be playing their 158th tournament game – the most of any club. The two-time champions are currently level with Toulouse, who they beat in the quarter-finals, on 157 matches.
• This will be the 8th meeting between the clubs; Munster have won five of the previous seven clashes (L2), although those two defeats against Saracens have come in their last three meetings.
• These sides have met once before in the semi-final with Munster progressing to the final in 2008 after an 18-16 victory at the Ricoh Arena before going on to lift trophy in Cardiff.
• Saracens are unbeaten in their last 16 Champions Cup games (W15, D1), and only Leinster have gone on a longer unbeaten streak in the competition (W16, D1, 2010-2012).
• Munster have won their last four Champions Cup games and have not gone on a longer run since winning six-in-a-row in 2013/14 when they last reached the semi-final.
• Chris Ashton needs just one try to become the outright top try scorer in European Cup history. He is currently level with Vincent Clerc on 36 tries.
• Munster (5) and Saracens (8) have conceded fewer tries than any other side this season, with both teams yet to concede a first-half try.
• CJ Stander has made 114 carries this season, and no other player has made 100+ carries so far in the competition.
• Owen Farrell (97) and Tyler Bleyendaal (94) are the top point scorers in the Champions Cup this season, and no other player has scored more than 80 points to date. Farrell was last season’s top scorer with 127 points.
How many of these will have an effect on the result come Saturday?