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Six Changes Made For Treviso

February 26, 2016 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Six Changes Made For Treviso

Head Coach Anthony Foley makes six changes from the side that lost out narrowly to Glasgow Warriors in naming his side for this weekend’s Guinness PRO12 Round 16 fixture away to Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo – KO 2pm (Irish).

The first of three changes in the pack comes in the front row with hooker Mike Sherry returning to pack down between Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan.

Mark Chisholm is another returnee to the starting line-up with the Australian partnering captain Billy Holland in the second row and, following his successful rehabilitation of a rib injury, Dave O’Callaghan comes in to join Jack O’Donoghue and Robin Copeland in the back-row.

Three changes are also seen across the backline. Duncan Williams resumes his starting partnership with Ian Keatley in the half-backs, as does Francis Saili alongside Rory Scannell in the midfield. The New Zealander has completed his return to play protocols for a concussion sustained against Ospreys in Round 14.

Winger Gerhard van den Heever is the final change to the starting XV with Darren Sweetnam and Andrew Conway remaining on the opposite wing and full-back respectively.

Irish internationals Tommy O’Donnell and Dave Foley have been made available to the province for this weekend’s game and are included amongst the replacements.

Meanwhile, should he make an appearance from the bench, development prop Peter McCabe will make his first competitive appearance for the province.

James Cronin reported a tight hamstring this week and was unavailable for selection.

Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Gerhard van den Heever; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, John Ryan; Mark Chisholm, Billy Holland – capt., Jack O’Donoghue, Dave O’Callaghan, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Peter McCabe, Mario Sagario, Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Cathal Sheridan, Cian Bohane, David Johnston.

Benetton Treviso v Munster Rugby, Guinness PRO12 Round 16, Sunday February 28th at the Stadio Monigo – KO 2pm (Irish).

For live updates follow @munsterrugby on Twitter #TreVMun

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Munster Just Edge It In Treviso

February 28, 2016 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Munster Just Edge It In Treviso

Persistent wet weather made for a scrappy and forward driven affair as Munster made it four wins from four over Treviso – two in the Champions Cup – this season. Gerhard van den Heever and Francis Saili crossed for the province with Ian Keatley adding two penalties.

Such were the poor conditions underfoot that even when the ball went wide, the respective backlines struggled to get any traction as they mounted an attack.

That said, the opening try of the game came from Munster winger Gerhard van den Heever, but not before the Munster pack had steamrolled the Italians back towards their own try line after which the ball was spread wide for the oncoming van den Heever who touched down on 18 minutes.

In search of their third consecutive win at the Stadio Monigo, Treviso struck next. Continuing their impressive form at set piece and opting for touch off a scrum penalty, mounting pressure saw the Munster defence hold firm initially and stop Treviso just short of the line. Illegally so however and when awarded another penalty they opted for a scrum from where they pressed hard to take the lead.

Number 8 Robert Barbieri touched down with Jayden Hayward adding the extras – 7-5 after 27 minutes.

Struggling to find precision as weather conditions failed to improve, unforced errors were the order of the day for both sides and Treviso retained their slender advantage heading for the interval.

The hosts very nearly had a dream start to the second 40 as Hayward and Ian Keatley gave chase to Treviso ball that had made its way over the Munster try line. However, consultation with the TMO confirmed that the Munster 10 had beaten the full-back to the touchdown – no try.

With Munster soon going offside, Hayward did eventually punish the province further on 52 minutes, landing a penalty that pushed Treviso out to a 10-5 lead.

Treviso’s aforementioned dream of a first three-in-a-row since October 2011 was now becoming a reality and Munster needed to react. That they did, shoring up the scrum and solid set-piece ball became the catalyst for Munster’s second try.

Well presented ball saw Andrew Conway kick ahead from where Francis Saili gathered and levelled affairs with his second competitive try for Munster.

With the wind just catching Keatley’s attempted conversion, the score remained 10-10 on 58 minutes.

It remained a tight and tense affair with Hayward and Keatley trading penalties on 64 and 68 minutes respectively.

Yet, as what seemed like snow began to fall, a rising penalty count began to favour the men in red with Keatley retaking the lead for Munster on 75 minutes after Treviso went off their feet.

From there, despite Dave Kilcoyne finishing out the game in the sin bin, Anthony Foley’s charges did enough to hold out for a hard fought victory over Treviso with the host’s final play symptomatic of a scrappy affair in poor conditions as they knocked on in attack.

The win sees Munster return to sixth on the Guinness PR12 table. Click here to see the full league standings.

Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Gerhard van den Heever; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry (Scannell 55), John Ryan (Sagario 77); Mark Chisholm (Foley 55), Billy Holland – capt., Jack O'Donoghue, Dave O'Callaghan (Copeland blood 64-68), Robin Copeland (O’Donnell 54).

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Peter McCabe, Mario Sagario, Dave Foley, Tommy O'Donnell, Cathal Sheridan, Cian Bohane, David Johnston.

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