Performance Improvement Required.
26th August 2011 By Munster Rugby
Munster complete their pre-season match programme this evening with the game against London Irish at Thomond Park Stadium (7pm).
The performances to date have been something of a curate's egg, the second half in La Rochelle compensating for a lacklustre first with the reverse the case against London Wasps in Cork last Friday.
Criticism should, as is the case with the national side, be tempered by the fact that these games are about experimentation, about trying different combinations, different plays.
Last Friday in Musgrave park, it was clearly Munster policy from the outset to eschew all kicks at goal and once the visitors became aware of this they acted accordingly.
Afterwards Tony McGahan was neither too pleased nor too despondent as one would expect seeing as for the second successive game he used 26 players, his starting XV showing nine changes from the one that ran out in the Stade Marcel Deflandre.
However, one could suppose he may be less forgiving if there's isn't a marked improvement in performance this evening as he selects a match day 23, most of whom will be called for active service in the opening stages of the RaboDirect PRO 12.
The senior game is preceded by the A clash with Connacht (4.15pm).
Munster: S Scanlon; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, D Hurley; I Keatley, D Williams; M Horan, M Sherry, S Archer; M O’Driscoll, I Nagle; B Holland, N Ronan, P O’Mahony. Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, P Borlase, D O’Callaghan, T O'Donnell, P Stringer, S Zebo, S Deasy.
London Irish: Tom Homer; Topsy Ojo, Jonathan Joseph, Dan Bowden, Marland Yarde; Adrian Jarvis, Paul Hodgson; Max Lahiff, David Paice, Faan Rautenbach; Nick Kennedy, Matt Garvey; Kieran Roche, Jamie Gibson, Richard Thorpe. Replacements: Mark George, Leo Halavatau, Brian Blaney, James Sandford, Tom Alexander, Alex Gray, Ross Samson, Steven Shingler, Adam Thompstone, Anthony Watson.
Munster A: R O’Mahony; C Hircock, JJ Hanrahan, T Gleeson, L O’Dea; D Cusack, G Hurley; D Kilcoyne, D Fogarty, J Ryan; D Foley, P Donnellan (Cork Con); S Buckley, B O’Hara, P Butler captain. Replacements: S Henry, J Cronin, C Condon (Dolphin), B Hayes, J Shine (Bruff), C Sheridan, G Quinn-McDonagh, D Moroney (UL Bohemians)..