Munster are not yet eliminated from the Champions Cup.
Although it was generally accepted that Munster’s defeat in Paris meant that the southern province were playing for pride against Stade Francais yesterday, it has since transpired that this was not the case.
Munster’s bonus point win gives the reds a mathematical chance of qualifying for the quarter finals of the Champions Cup. While the odds appear to be stacked against Munster going into the final weekend of action, some of the necessary outcomes are very plausible.
Although Munster currently lie third in pool four, they have every opportunity to record a bonus point win over Treviso and finish the pool phase on 15 points.
That would be enough to see Munster into second place, if Leicester beat Stade Francais in Paris. Given that Munster secured the bonus point yesterday, they would come out on top against Stade on the head to head record, even if the French team earned a losing bonus point and also finish on 15.
With Munster in second place, they would then come into the equation for qualification and would need at least two of the following results to unfold.
Pool 1: Ulster lose or draw without a four try bonus point against Oyonnax, leaving Ulster on a maximum of 15 points.
Pool 2: The Ospreys to beat Exeter or alternatively draw with the English side with both sides failing to secure the four try bonus point.
However Munster would also need Bordeaux to beat Clermont, with neither side picking up bonus points. Such results would see the Ospreys top the pool, with Bordeaux finishing second on 15 and leave Clermont on 14.
Pool 3: Northampton to pick up no more than five points from their remaining games against Glasgow and the Scarlets.
However if the Warriors do beat the Saints, Munster must hope that they either lose or draw with Racing, winning no more than six points from the two games.
In either scenario Racing would top the pool, with Northampton finishing second on 15 points, possible joined by Glasgow on the same number of points.
Pool 5: Wasps to lose against both Toulon and Leinster securing a maximum of one losing bonus point. Alternatively, Toulon to lose to both Bath and Wasps gaining a maximum of three bonus points.
If Wasps were to only pick up one bonus point from their remaining games, they would finish behind Toulon on 15. However if the second scenario unfolded, then Toulon would finish behind Wasps on 15 points.
Although it remains unlikely that Munster will qualify for the quarter finals, in order to give themselves any chance, the Reds would have to record a massive victory in Italy to improve their points difference.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena