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Celtic League Munster Edge Out Llanelli
9 September 2005, 9:11 am
Munster gave their supporters plenty of anxious moments before edging past Llanelli Scarlets 14-13 in Musgrave Park
The last time these sides met was in the Celtic Cup final in Lansdowne Road with Munster emerging 27-16 winners with tries from Mike Mullins, Anthony Horgan and Ronan O'Gara. Mullins and Horgan missed out on this one through injury but O'Gara was back in his familar number 10 slot and it was his two second half penalties that gave Munster the points.

Munster took an early lead with an O'Gara penalty and try from Alan Quinlan but were then stung when Llanelli crossed for two tries before the break. In the early stages of the second half it was Llanelli who carried the fight to the home side who were fortunate that referee Andy Ireland ruled out what looked a legitimate try for out-half Hercus.

However, Munster had themselves been denied a first half try when Frank Sheahan looked to have been mauled over the Scarlets line only for the referee to decide the Munster hooker had been held up. Hercus had the opportunity to snatch a dramatic win when Scarlets were awarded an injury time penalty but he dragged his effort left and wide.

There was a debut tonight for Ian Dowling from Kilkenny and the Shannon clubman capped a memorable evening by been awarded the Toyota Man of the Match award. The other player to make his Munster debut was Tomas O'Leary who was a replacement from the start for Peter Stringer who was forced to withdraw with a back spasm

O'Leary looked more than comfortable at this level as did Barry Murphy, operating at full-back.

Munster: B Murphy; J Kelly, D Leamy (Henderson ht), T Halstead, I Dowling; R O'Gara, P Stringer; F Pucciariello (Horan 77min), F Sheahan, J Hayes; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell (O'Driscoll 74 min); A Quinlan, D Wallace, A Foley capt.

Llanelli Scarlets: Lee Byrne; Dafydd James, Matthew J Watkins, Regan King; Tal Selley; Mike Hercus, Clive Stuart-Smith; Iestyn Thomas, Aled Gravelle, John Davies; Hotie Louw, Adam Jones; Simon Easterby capt, Jonathan Mills, Alix Popham.


Referee: Andy Ireland (SRU).

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Team
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1Leinster Rugby19141469
2Ulster Rugby19140565
3Munster Rugby19140563
4Glasgow Warriors18140460
5Ospreys19111756
6Scarlets1991945
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