Season In Stats & Pics | 2020/21
23rd June 2021 By The Editor
Take a look at the stats and best pics from the 2020/21 campaign that saw Munster compete in the Champions Cup, the final season of the Guinness PRO14 and the one-off Rainbow Cup.
It will be all-change next year with the introduction of the United Rugby Championship in place of the PRO14. See full details of the new competition here.
There will be a revised Champions Cup format with four Pool games and two-legged round of 16 ties with more details on the format here.
The 2020/21 campaign saw Munster win 20 of their 25 fixtures and reach the PRO14 final and the Champions Cup knock-out stages. Munster suffered just two away defeats all year.
Leinster denied Munster in the PRO14 final at the RDS with a 16-6 victory and eventual European champions Toulouse secured a 40-33 victory in a Champions Cup classic at Thomond Park.
In total, 53 players featured for Munster this season (43 senior and 10 Academy).
Top-Scorers & Defensive Record
Gavin Coombes scored 15 tries in 22 appearances, the most tries ever scored by a player for Munster in a single season.
Coombes’ four-try haul in the final game of the season against Zebre equalled the player record for most tries scored in a Munster game as he shared the honours with Mike Mullins (2001) and Alex Wootton (2017).
Keith Earls’ two tries against Toulouse saw the winger move up to 59 tries, one behind record-holder Simon Zebo’s 60 tries.
JJ Hanrahan scored the most points with a total of 131 (three tries, 21 penalties, 25 conversions and one drop-goal).
In total, Munster scored 689 points and conceded 412 points, scoring 81 tries and conceding 44.
Munster conceded the least tries in the Guinness PRO14 and the Rainbow Cup with no side securing a four-try bonus point against the province. There were 35 tries scored against Munster in 22 PRO14/Rainbow Cup games.
Gavin Coombes and Jack O’Donoghue led the way for appearances having both featured in 22 of Munster’s 25 games (17 starts each).
Mike Haley topped the charts for minutes on the pitch, playing a total of 1,468 minutes in his 19 appearances (all starts).
Damian de Allende was second in minutes played with 1,423 minutes in his 21 appearances.
Tadhg Beirne and Craig Casey each earned three Player of the Match awards with Gavin Coombes winning two as Andrew Conway, Mike Haley, Damian de Allende, Jack O’Donoghue, JJ Hanrahan, CJ Stander, Billy Holland, Joey Carbery and Academy player Thomas Ahern also won a Player of the Match award each.
Gavin Coombes was named Men’s Player of the Year, Craig Casey won Young Player of the Year and Ben Healy won the John McCarthy award for Greencore Academy Player of the Year.
Coombes was also named the Guinness Fans’ Player of the Rainbow Cup, and he and Craig were named in the Rainbow Cup Dream Team.
Damian de Allende, Kevin O’Byrne and Billy Holland were all included in the Guinness PRO14 Dream Team for their excellent performances throughout the season.
Joey Carbery held a 100% kick success rate in the Rainbow Cup and was awarded the Golden Boot after making 16 kicks.
Munster’s JJ Hanrahan won the Guinness PRO14 Try of the Season award after a brilliant team move that also involved Craig Casey, Rhys Marshall, Damian de Allende, Darren Sweetnam and Rory Scannell.
Watch the try below.
Debuts, Landmarks & Captains
There were senior debuts for Academy players Thomas Ahern, Jack Crowley, Jack Daly, Seán French, Cian Hurley, Alex Kendellen and Josh Wycherley.
There were also Munster debuts for new signings Matt Gallagher and Roman Salanoa along with loanee Paddy Patterson.
Gavin Coombes, Academy prop Wycherley and Damian de Allende also made their Champions Cup debuts this season.
Billy Holland (247 caps) moved up to second on the province’s all-time list of leading appearances and Stephen Archer (230 caps) moved up to fifth on the list.
CJ Stander and Conor Murray made their 150th Munster appearances with Stander also playing his 50th Champions Cup game as Chris Cloete, Fineen Wycherley and Jeremy Loughman made their 50th appearances for the province.
Tommy O’Donnell’s final game for Munster against Cardiff saw him make his 200th senior appearance (187 Munster, 13 Ireland).
Club captain Peter O’Mahony led Munster on 10 occasions with Holland captaining Munster nine times as Jack O’Donoghue and CJ Stander were named as captain for three games apiece this season.
Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes, Shane Daly and Fineen Wycherley became the latest Munster men to make their debuts with Ireland this season.
Tadhg Beirne, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Dave Kilcoyne, Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony, John Ryan and CJ Stander also featured for Ireland this season, bringing Munster’s total representation to 13 over the Autumn Nations Cup, Guinness Six Nations and Vodafone Summer Series.
Beirne and Stander were named in the Six Nations Team of the Championship with Stander making his 50th international appearance.
Beirne and Murray were included in the British and Irish Lions squad for their tour to South Africa with Damian de Allende and RG Snyman included in the Springboks squad.
Academy player Alex Kendellen was named as captain of the Ireland U20s for the Six Nations.
10 Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players featured for Munster this season.
Thomas Ahern, Jack Crowley, Jack Daly, Jake Flannery, Seán French, Ben Healy, Cian Hurley, John Hodnett, Alex Kendellen and Josh Wycherley have all represented the province.
Out-half Ben Healy led the way with senior appearances on the Academy front this season having featured in 17 of Munster’s 25 games, scoring 87 points.
In total, there have been 47 senior appearances for Academy players this season.
Thomas Ahern (21) and Cian Hurley (20) became the province’s youngest starting second-row partnership against Benetton in March 2021.
Thomas Ahern, Jack Crowley, Jack Daly, Jake Flannery, James French, Seán French, Ben Healy, John Hodnett and Josh Wycherley all move up to senior contracts next season.