Bulls will present big challenge for struggling Munster

Patrick Campbell, who scored against Connacht last weekend, starts at full back tonight.

MUNSTER will be on home soil when they entertain fourth-placed Vodacom Bulls in the latest round of the United Rugby Championship at Thomond Park tonight (kick-off 7.35pm with coverage on TG4 and Live 95). 

Again, supporters of The Red Army will be looking for a much-improved performance from Munster, who collapsed against Connacht at The Sportsground in Galway, conceding 15 points in as many of the closing minutes to suffer another defeat (20-11), and not even secure a losing bonus point. The win was Connaght’s first of the season for coach Andy Friend.

In Galway, Munster coach Graham Rowntree acknowledged to RTÉ: “The annoying thing – what’s killing us – is us. Our control of the ball, our accuracy, and our discipline.”

He explained: “We went to 11-5 [on 48 minutes] and didn’t push on from there”. 

“We had a big opportunity going into their 22 where we lost control of the ball. Next thing we know we’re back in our 22. We have to be better with that ball retention in that area of the field.

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“I can’t fault the energy and effort from the lads. We just need to be more accurate.”

Conor Fitzgerald, who represented Claughaun on the Limerick Minor Hurling side that contested the 2014 All-Ireland Final, was impressive at full-back for Connacht, dissecting the posts on a couple of occasions including an important closing-quarter penalty. 

Only weeks into the new season, Munster have already suffered three defeats in only four starts and will be under serious pressure to collect something from their South African opponents who were beaten at Glasgow Warriors last Saturday. 

“We’ll look forward to a huge game at home next week, against a very good, physical (Bulls) team in front of our home crowd,” Rowntree said.