Munster Women rounded off a successful week by completing a double win over visiting top US side Penn State University. Following the Munster U21 s victory on Tuesday, on Thursday it was the turn of the Munster Seniors to shine- notching up four tries in their 22-0 win at Temple Hill.
With the weather conditions eliminating any thoughts of a fast running game from the outset, the slippery conditions severely affected the handling on both sides, with the game punctuated by a large number of scrums. Facing into heavy rain, Munster were put under pressure immediately from the kick off, with Penn State pinning them back onto their line in the opening minutes. However, despite some solid work by Fontaine Lloyd and Alison Searle in the pack, Munster cleared their lines and settled into the game. After a fast paced opening period, it was Munster who claimed the first score, with a fantastic individual try from full back Jeannette Feighery, who weaved her way through the defence from a run that started on the half way line to score left of the posts. Three minutes later winger Mairead Kelly came close to scoring with an explosive run along the line, but a tackle from Penn State full back Diana Klein was a certain try saver, with Kelly stopped short a metre from the try line. Fourteen minutes into the game, Clonakilty prop Laura Guest crashed over for a Munster try, stretching their lead to 10-0. With the game concentrated in the packs for much of the game, Penn State were very competitive at the breakdown, turning over a large number of ball, however, Munster s back line thwarted any attacks by some excellent defending- particularly from the Highfield pair of out half Helen Brosnan and centre Deirdre Lynch. Penn State scrum half Annie Ziegler looked threatening throughout, with flankers Alison Wormall and Kate Daley causing plenty of problems for the opposing pack. At the half hour mark, it looked like Clonmel No. 8 Kate O Loughlin was going to set up a third Munster try after a break from her own 22 saw her clear to the half way line. With an offload to winger Mairead Kelly, Penn State s Annie Ziegler and Erin Collins were quick to halt her progress, catching her on the 22. The score remained 10-0 at half time, with Penn State very much still in the game.
Munster got a boost five minutes after the restart with a well worked try that started from winger Carol Murphy opportunistically throwing the ball into herself from a lineout catching Penn State unawares, with a sweep across the field to full back Jeannette Feighery exposing a disorganised defence, with the offload to centre Stacey Kucharchuk, who finished off the move. Carol Murphy converted the try to give Munster a 17-0 lead. With Munster firmly in control, Penn State however continued to battle for possession. The second half was dominated by handling errors which made it a very much stop start affair. Full back Diana Klein made some excellent clearing kicks to get her side out of danger on more than one occasion. However, it was to be Munster s night, as they sealed the win with an outstanding try from replacement winger Sandra Williams. Having scored a try against Penn State for the U21 team on Tuesday, Sandra claimed the honour of scoring tries for two Munster representative teams in 48 hours- a fantastic achievement for the young Nenagh Ormond player.
Next up the Munster U21 team will take on the Munster Development team on Sunday at Shannon RFC s grounds.
15. Jeanette Feighery (UL-Bohs), 14. Carol Murphy (UL-Bohs), 13. Stacey Kucharchuk (Shannon), 12. Deirdre Lynch (Captain - Highfield), 11. Mairead Kelly (UL-Bohs), 10. Helen Brosnan (Highfield), 9. Sharyn Sample (Shannon), 1. Natasha O' Keeffe (Clanwilliam), 2. Emma Stanley (UL-Bohs), 3. Laura Guest (Clonakilty), 4. Deirdre O'Brien (UL-Bohs), 5. Tracie O' Dwyer (Clanwilliam), 6. Paula O'Connor (Shannon), 7. Rachel Tucker (Vice-Captain UL-Bohs), 8. Kate O' Loughlin (Clonmel)
Chris Fanning (Highfield) for Stanley (67), Denise Jennings (Clonakilty) for O Keeffe (ht), Karen Kenny (Highfield) for O Dwyer (67), Martha Halbert (Highfield) for Sample (ht), Eavan Hunt (Clonakilty) for Kucharchuk (13), Sandra Williams (Nenagh) for Kelly (55), Claire Peters for Murphy (78)
15. Diana Klein, 14. Erin Collins, 13. Allurie Kephart, 12. Amber Benlian, 11. Emily Donaldson, 10. Anna Hosford, 9. Annie Ziegler, 1. Pam Coutts, 2. Fontaine Lloyd, 3. Devin Keller, 4. Alison Searle, 5. Carol Hood, 6. Kate Daley, 7. Alison Worman, 8. Rosie Daley.
Replacements: Ashley Nesby for Coutts (ht), Alli Bowman for Kephart (57)
Ann Petko for Hood (61)
Referee: Bruce Henna (MAR)