MUNSTER’S timely 24-17 bonus point win over neighbours Connacht has moved the province into the top eight in the URC table.
Only the leading eight teams in the competition at the close of the season are guaranteed Champions Cup activity the following year.
Calvin Nash, Roman Salanoa, John Ryan and Niall Scannell were the Munster try-scorers with Joey Carbery kicking two conversions. The interpro rivals had been tied at ten points after the opening 40 minutes.
On his 50th appearance, Tadhg Beirne was named Player of the Match, while there are new injury concerns around Mike Haley and captain Peter O’Mahony who both departed for HIAs.
It was a reversal of the result between the teams in Galway at the start of last month.
Munster coach Graham Rowntree said that there has been a lot of development over the past month and the players were still learning.
“We’ve had more training time with the coaches, a bit more of a settled squad. We had a lot of moving parts last month with unavailability. We just kept hammering at what we have been doing well in training.”
He continued: “There’s been no panic. Things have not gone our way but you control what you can every day. I’ve seen the body of work we’ve been doing. Hard work tends to pay off and we’ve worked hard. More training time, more work with the coaches, more of a settled squad. Hopefully things are going to turn the corner. It looks like they are.”
A minute’s silence was observed before the fixture in honour of former Munster coach/manager Jerry Holland who passed away recently.
Munster are away to fifth-placed Edinburgh on this Friday night, and the following weekend have Toulouse as visitors in the Champions Cup opener in Limerick.