Rugby – Connacht defeat Munster at Thomond Park

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Shane Monahan, Munster, is tackled by Bundee Aki and Ultan Dillane, Connacht. Pre-Season Friendly, Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

CONNACHT defeated Munster 28-12 tonight at Thomond Park, outscoring the home side 4 tries to 2. In what was Munster’s second preseason friendly, Anthony Foley’s men will be disappointed with what was an under par performance for the men in black (new kit) tonight against an almost full strength Connacht side.

Kieran Marmion was the star of the opening half, scoring two tries in front of the watching eyes of Simon Easterby, Ireland’s forwards coach. Munster had started the brighter with Mike Sherry scoring after just two minutes on his return from injury. However Connacht’s cohesion in phase play and Munster’s disappointing defence saw the away side lead 21-12 at the break. Connacht’s third try of the game came from Nepia Fox-Matamua. Munster’s captain on the night, CJ Stander, did go under the posts for a try, but in truth, Munster were having to work harder for their scores than the men from West.

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The second half was a dour affair with both sides making wholesale changes throughout the second 40. Francis Saili did make his debut for Foley’s men, but with his new side chasing the game, the former All Black had little chance to impress.

Connacht’s fourth try was a reward for their forward display, when referee David Wilkinson awarded Pat Lam’s men a penalty try in the 55th minute.

Munster’s next game of the preseason is against London Irish next Friday night in Musgrave Park at 7pm.

Munster Team:

David Johnston, Shane Monahan, Cian Bohane, Matt D’Arcy, Gerhard van den Heever, Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams, James Cronin, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, Sean Mc Carthy, Dave Foley, Dave O’Callaghan, Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander (c).

Subs used: Kevin O’Byrne, John Ryan, BJ Botha, Shane Buckley, Cathal Sheridan, Bill Johnston, Francis Saili, Niall Scannell, John Madigan, Jordan Coghlan, Stephen Fitzgerald.

Connacht Team:

Darragh Leader, Tiernan O’Hanlon, Rory Parata, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, JP Cooney, Tom Mc Cartney, Rodney Ah You, Ultan Dillane, Andrew Browne, John Muldoon, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Eoghan Masterson.

Subs used: Finlay Bealham, Dave Heffernan, Nathan White, Quinn Roux, Ben Marshall, Eoin Mc Keon, George Naoupu, John Cooney, Craig Ronaldson, Danie Poolman, Dave Mc Sharry.

Scoring Timeline:

2mins TRY Munster Mike Sherry 5-0 Conversion Missed.

17mins TRY Connacht Kieran Marmion 5-5 Conversion by Jack Carty 7-5

26mins TRY Connacht Kieran Marmion 10-5 Conversion by Jack Carty 14-5

31mins TRY Munster CJ Stander 14-10 Conversion by Ian Keatley 14-12

38mins TRY Connacht Nepia Fox-Matamua 19-12. Conversion by Jack Carty 21-12

HALF TIME

55mins TRY Connacht Penalty try from a rolling maul. 26-12 Conversion by Craig Ronaldson 28-12