Munster 24 Connacht 17 in United Rugby Championship

Munster beat Connacht 24-17 at Thomond Park on Saturday night. Credit: @MunsterRugby.

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Munster Rugby beat Connacht Rugby 24-17 in the United Rugby Championship at Thomond Park on Saturday night.

In a game played in windy conditions, the home side scored three tries through Calvin Nash, Roman Salanoa and John Ryan to Connacht’s two from Byr0n Raulston and Kieran Marmion.

Jack Carty gave the visitors the early lead when successfully kicking a penalty in the 10th minute of the game. Kicking the 22m line, Carty dissected the posts despite the strong swirling Thomond Park wind.

Shortly after the restart, Craig Casey took the ball off the back of the Munster scrum. He found winger Calvin Nash on his own out wide. Casey delivered a delicate pass to the the number 14 who touched down in the corner to give Munster their first score of the game. Joey Carbery’s conversion attempt failed, leaving Munster with a narrow 5-3 lead.

Intercept try

Munster’s sloppy play lead to Connacht’s first try of the game. Munster’s Shane Daly passed across the backline to Mike Haley who tried the same type of pass only for Byron Ralston to read his intention. The Connacht winger was a delighted recipient of possession and had the easiest of duties to touch down. Jack Carty had his second successful kick of the night at the posts as he gave his side a 10-5.

Roman Salanoa got his second-ever try when touching down for the men in red as half-time was approaching. Munster kicked for touch and won their lineout, setting up the maul. They drove for the Connacht line and with continued pressure on the Connachtmen, Munster were edging to the try-scoring line. Once achieving momentum, Munster pushed over, with Salanoa emerging from the bottom of the pile as the try-scorer. Carbery’s unsuccessful night at kicking for the posts continued, with his effort going right and wide on this occasion.

Half-time score: Munster Rugby 10  Connacht Rugby 10

A piece of magic from Joey Carbery saw the Munster number 10 beat Bundee Aki and both Connacht second row players Josh Murphy and Gavin Thornbury before chipping over fullback John Porch. The Connacht man was adjudged to have taken Carbery out and was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes. Despite kicking for the line, and winning their own lineout, Munster failed to take advantage of the extra man.

John Ryan claimed Munster’s third try of the night followed another strong maul by the home side. With Connacht’s John Porch still in the sin bin, Munster made the most of the one-man advantage as they forced the visitors back over their own line. Joey Carbery, on his third attempt of the night, converted for the first time. Munster were now 17-10 ahead, heading into the final quarter of the game.

Carbery soon got his second successful conversion of the game on 66 minutes, as he converted Niall Scannell’s try. Scannell’s five-pointer was Munster’s fourth, and bonus-point, try of the evening when he crossed the line. The southern province now had a 24-10 as the clock ticked towards 70 minutes.

Just as Munster fans may have thought their side was heading for a victory, Kieran Marmion scored a try under the posts for Connacht. Leaving an easy conversion kick for Jack Carty, the kicker added the extras, and reduced the difference between the sides to seven points. Despite a nervous few final minutes, Munster held out for a much-needed 24-17 victory.

Final score: Munster Rugby 24  Connacht Rugby 17.

Munster Rugby Team
15. Mike Haley, 14. Calvin Nash, 13. Antoine Frisch, 12. Rory Scannell, 11. Shane Daly, 10. Joey Carbery, 9. Craig Casey.

1. Josh Wycherley, 2. Diarmuid Barron, 3. Roman Salanoa, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 6. Peter O’Mahony (captain), 7. John Hodnett, 8. Alex Kendellen.

Munster Rugby Replacements
16. Niall Scannell, 17. Jeremy Loughman, 18. John Ryan, 19. Edwin Edogbo, 20. Jack O’Donoghue, 21. Paddy Patterson, 22. Jack Crowley, 23. Gavin Coombes.

Connacht Rugby Team
15. John Porch, 14. Byron Ralston, 13. Tom Farrell, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Alex Wootton, 10. Jack Carty (captain), 9. Caolin Blade.

1. Denis Buckley, 2. Dave Heffernan, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Josh Murphy, 5. Gavin Thornbury, 6. Cian Prendergast, 7. Conor Oliver, 8. Jarrad Butler.

Connacht Rugby Replacements
16. Shane Delahunt, 17. Peter Dooley, 18. Jack Aungier, 19. Niall Murray, 20. Oisín Dowling, 21. Kieran Marmion, 22. Conor Fitzgerald, 23. Paul Boyle.

Munster Scores:
Try: Nash, Salanoa, Ryan
Penalty: Carbery

Connacht Scores:
Try: Ralston, Marmion
Conversion: Carty (2)
Penalty: Carty

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