Stats & Pics: The Season So Far
3rd January 2017 By Munster Rugby
As we approach the midway point of the regular season, we look back – through stats and pictures – at the season to date, one that has seen Munster play 16 competitive games including an historic win over the Maori All Blacks.
In scoring 431 points, including 53 tries, points and tries scored make for pleasant reading and so too does Munster’s defensive record. Under the stewardship of Jacques Nienaber, Munster boast the best defensive record in the PRO12 so far with 17 tries conceded.
A total of 16 players have made their debuts for Munster this season – Sam Arnold, Thomas Du Toit, Jean Kleyn, Angus Lloyd, Rhys Marshall, Darren O’Shea, Jaco Taute, Te Aihe Toma, Alex Wootton, Peter McCabe and Colm O’Shea, as well as academy talents Dan Goggin, John Foley, Sean O’Connor and Brian Scott, and Young Munster club player Abrie Griesel.
On the European front Taute and Scott made their Champions Cup debuts against Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in October, as did Tyler Bleyendaal and Darren Sweetnam, while Du Toit, Kleyn and Marshall all made theirs against Leicester Tigers in Limerick in December.
In terms of player milestones, Donnacha Ryan won his 150th Munster cap against Zebre in October while Ronan O’Mahony made his 50th appearance in a hard-fought and memorable win over Ulster at Kingspan Stadium also in October, with Jack O’Donoghue most recently winning his 50th cap in last Saturday’s victory against Connacht.
O’Mahony is also Munster’s top try scorer so far this season, his try on the stroke of half time against Leinster on St Stephen’s Day nudging him ahead of Taute on 6 tries. En route to leading the standings the winger also crossed for a brace against Treviso in November.
As regards points scored, the boot of Tyler Bleyendaal has the playmaker out in front with 1 try, 32 conversions and 14 penalties in 11 appearances bringing his tally to 111 points for the season to date.
Munster’s win over Zebre saw Ian Keatley surpass 1,000 points scored for Munster, becoming just the second player in history to do so. In 141 appearances, the playmaker has notched up 1,034 in the red jersey and is second to Ronan O’Gara (2,560) in the all-time points scored list.
Although sustaining an injury against Leinster, Darren Sweetnam was the only player to start every game of the season up to that point. In starting in 15 successive games he led the way with 1137 minutes played.
Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park have been drawing the crowds of late with supporters turning up in numbers each week getting behind the team. With five sell-out attendances witnessed in the past couple of months this year’s festive derby with Leinster saw fans snap up all additional seating installed for the game, setting a new PRO12 attendance record for Thomond Park of 26,200.
Next Home Game
Trips to Racing and Glasgow now precede Munster’s next home game where they welcome TOP 14 Champions Racing 92 to Thomond Park on Saturday January 21st at 5.30pm in a game that could determine Munster’s fate in this season’s Champions Cup.
Tickets can be purchased online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park or by calling 061 421103.