2005/6 IRFU U21 INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP
ULSTER 5 MUNSTER 17
Munster U21 s made a great start to their Interprovincial campaign with a 17-5 victory over defending champions Ulster in Ravenhill on Friday night. It was a significant victory, and gives great confidence to the side, who are aiming to reclaim the title won in 2002/3 and 2003/4.
It was a game in which the heavier Munster pack had a huge influence, and kept pressure on the home side throughout the match. Munster put the first points on the board after thirteen minutes, with PBC scrum half Sam Cronin setting up UCC flanker Michael Essex from a 5 metre scrum. Essex crashed over the line to give Munster a 5-0 lead, with the score remaining static until the second half. Two penalties from Garryowen outhalf Conan Doyle, and a drop goal from Cork Constitution centre Tom Gleeson gave Munster a 14-0 lead with twenty minutes to go. Ulster did respond with a Johnny Watt try, which wasn t converted. Conan Doyle s penalty after 66 minutes once again stretched Munster s lead, and they held on for a well deserved victory.
Next Friday night Munster U.21 s play Connacht at the Sportsgrounds in Galway at 6pm. Connacht suffered a 21-15 defeat to Leinster in Donnybrook and will be looking to come back into the competition with home advantage. Munster s last pool game is against Leinster in Thomond Park at 7pm on Friday 16th September. After all pool games are completed, the top two teams will compete for the Series title, with a play off for third and fourth place.
The 2005/6 Munster U.21 squad has twenty eight players on board from ten clubs and schools throughout the province. The squad includes nine players from UCC, four from Shannon, three each from UL Bohemian, Garryowen and Cork Constitution, two from Dolphin and one each from Highfield, Clonakilty, Crescent College Comprehensive, Limerick and Presentation Brothers College Cork. A number of players on the squad were involved in the IRB U19 World Championships in South Africa earlier this year, including Kevin Griffin, Barry O Mahony, Evan Ryan and Eric Moloney. Garryowen s Conan Doyle was part of the Irish U.21 squad that travelled to Argentina for the IRB U.21 World Championships in June.
The Munster U.21 team is coached by Buccaneer s Coach Geoff Moylan. David O Mahony (Dolphin RFC) and Paul Cunningham (Garryowen FC) are Assistant Coaches. The team is managed by Donal Brennan from Shannon RFC, with Ian Costello on board as Technical Advisor.
MUNSTER TEAM v ULSTER
15. Ian Hanley (UL Bohemian FC), 14. Eric Moloney (UCC), 13. Tom Gleeson (Cork Constitution), 12. Evan Ryan (UCC), 11. Ed Mills (Dolphin), 10. Conan Doyle (Garryowen), 9. Sam Cronin (PBC), 1. Darragh Hurley (UCC), 2. Batt Duggan (UCC), 3. Dave Ryan (Highfield) 4. Ben Nagle (UCC), 5. Chris Kenefick (UCC), 6. Billy Holland (UCC), 7. Michael Essex (UCC), 8. Dave Sherry (Garryowen)
Replacements: Cathal Parkes (UL Bohemian) for Batt Duggan (78), Barry O Mahony (UCC) for Michael Essex (69)
Unused: Richie Feeney (UL Bohs), Neville Melbourne (Garryowen), Ross O Loughlin (Shannon), Alistair Ross (Cork Constitution), Gary O Keeffe (Dolphin)
Friday 2nd September 2005- ULSTER 5 MUNSTER 17 (Ravenhill)
Friday 9th September 2005- CONNACHT v MUNSTER (Sportsgrounds, 6pm)
Friday 16th September 2005- MUNSTER v LEINSTER (Thomond Park, 7pm)
Playoff weekend Saturday 24th September in Buccaneers RFC, Athlone.