U20 Development Challenge Game, Naas RFC, Saturday 16th April 2011
Ulster 24 Munster 26
In their second warm up game of the season, Munster and Ulster played out a very entertaining match in Naas RFC as both sides continue their preparations for next season's interprovincial series of matches. Munster just shaded Ulster thanks to a touchline conversion from Steve Dinan after a Ben Crumplin try with 2 minutes to go.
Both sides moved the ball at every opportunity, scoring 4 tries each in a game that never had any more than a score between the sides at any stage. Conditions were perfect for running rugby and both sides used the match to put the ball through the hands whenever they could.
Ulster opened brightly and scored after 5 minutes and lead by 7 - 0. However it did not take long for Munster to comeback into the game when Darren Sweetnam (on as a temporary replacement for James Kiernan) scored in the corner with his first time on the ball.
Garret O'Suillebhain missed the conversion to leave the score 7 - 5 to Ulster after 15 mins. However Munster kicked on at this point and scored a second try after Garret O'Suillebhain touched down under the posts after some good play by Shaun Horgan making a break in midfield. O'Suillebhain converted his own try to leave the score 7 - 12.
However just before the break, Ulster exposed some slack defence and scored a try which was converted, making the score 14 - 12 to Ulster at half time.
The second half followed the same pattern, however Munster did enjoy the balance of territory and possession. This advantage eventually told when Shaun Horgan scored after a deft chip from Evan Mulcahy, and after a successful conversion, Munster were in control at 14 -19.
Or at least that was what was thought, as Ulster fought back hard to force turnovers and create scoring opportunities which they took full advantage of. Scoring 2 tries within a matter of minutes meant that Munster were right back in a battle trailing 24 - 19 with 5 minutes remaining.
However when the chips were down Munster, through number 8 Ben Crumplin, responded by scoring a well worked try on the touchline, with Steve Dinan kicking the conversion from a very acute angle to give Munster the two point advantage at the final whistle.
Munster U20s Dev. Squad: Cian O'Donnell, Will Foley, David Canny, Niall Horan, Killian Kingston, Brian Scott, Sean Monaghan, Darren O'Shea (Capt.), Ben Crumplin, Jamie Kind, Cathal Gallagher, Evan Mulcahy, Tim Rafferty, Eamonn Mills, Shane O'Leary, Garrett, O'Suillebhain, James Kiernan, Shaun Horgan, Steve Dinan, Larry Hanley, Darren Sweetnam.
On behalf of the Munster U20 Squad, we would like to pass on our thanks to Naas for orgainising the game and especially for some excellent post match hospitality.