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Team Named | Munster Side To Face Bulls

March 11, 2022 11:44 am By The Editor

Members of the Munster squad at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Members of the Munster squad at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. Munster Rugby

The Munster side has been named for Saturday’s URC clash against Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld (2.05pm Irish time, 4.05pm local).

Find out all you need to know ahead of the game here.

There are seven changes to the side that defeated Dragons at Thomond Park last weekend.

Calvin Nash, Rory Scannell, Ben Healy, Neil Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer and Alex Kendellen all come into the side.

Two pairs of brothers start for Munster with the Scannells joining Fineen and Josh Wycherley in the starting XV.

Four Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players are included in the squad as Alex Kendellen starts at no.8 with Mark Donnelly, Eoin O’Connor and Paddy Patterson among the replacements.

Mike Haley is named at full-back with Nash and Simon Zebo on either flank.

Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell form the centre partnership with Healy and Cronin in the half-backs.

Josh Wycherley, Niall Scannell and Archer pack down in the front row with the second row of Jean Kleyn and Fineen Wycherley unchanged.

Captain Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete and Kendellen complete the side.

Damian de Allende has recovered from an abdomen injury to take his place among the replacements and could make his first appearance since January.

Mark Donnelly and Eoin O’Connor are set for their first URC appearances having made their Munster debuts against Wasps in December.

Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo; Ben Healy, Neil Cronin; Josh Wycherley, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Chris Cloete, Alex Kendellen.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Mark Donnelly, John Ryan, Eoin O’Connor, John Hodnett, Paddy Patterson, Jack Crowley, Damian de Allende.

Video | Press Pass

Hear from Johann van Graan and Jean Kleyn ahead of the game.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | Narrow Defeat For Munster In Pretoria

March 12, 2022 6:54 pm By The Editor

Report | Narrow Defeat For Munster In Pretoria

Jack O'Donghue tries to hold off the Bull's Cornal Hendricks. INPHO/Steve Haag

Despite a second half fightback Munster were unable to secure victory in this afternoon’s URC encounter against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld as they came from 26 points adrift early in the second-half to salvage a bonus point at Loftus Versfeld.

Munster trailed by 26-3 at the interval and with the heat and altitude expected to take a big toll on the visitors as the game progressed, the prospects of a win as Johaan van Graan returned to his hometown club in Pretoria looked like a tall order but once again the belief, mindset, and performance from the 23 players ensured that there was a battle until the final whistle.

Munster rallied superbly and outscored the Vodafone Bulls by three tries to nil in the second-half, cutting the gap to five points seven minutes from time.

However, that was as close as Munster got and they had to settle for the losing bonus point as late attacks failed to produce a match-winning score.

It seemed highly unlikely as the opening half progressed that Munster would be in a position to win the game in the closing stages as the Bulls built up an impressive opening half lead as they built on indiscipline by the visitors which saw an opening half penalty count of 10-2.

Making his first start at 8, Greenore Academy player Alex Kendellen was sinbinned in the opening half for a no-arms tackle and the Bulls made the extra man count to get in for their second try when Walt Steenkamp scored after sustained pressure.

Earlier Munster captain Jack O’Donoghue had a try ruled out after Josh Wycherley was adjudged to have infringed in the maul in the build-up after eleven minutes.

The Bulls led 6-3 at that stage following two penalties from Chris Smith either side of a penalty from Ben Healy.

The opening try came after a burst from former Ulster No.8 Marcel Coetzee and was finished by winger Madosh Tambwe after 16 minutes.

Smith converted both Bulls tries and added four penalties to lead 26-3 at the break, before he pushed the advantage with another penalty after 47 minutes.

But Munster responded superbly to the challenge. They got back in contention when Kendellen did superbly to squeeze over after a tapped penalty in front of the posts. Healy added the conversion with a drop to cut the margin to 29-10.

Both sides began emptying their benches and World Cup winner Damian de Allende, back from injury, made a big impact on his return and he was rewarded for chasing a loose ball off the lineout to get the bounce of the ball and the touchdown. Healy again converted and the deficit was cut to 29-17 after 58 minutes.

The Bulls were reduced to 14 men when replacement hooker, and former Springbok, Bismarck du Plessis was issued with red card for a dangerous tip tackle on Kendellen, with eleven minutes left.

Good Munster pressure yielded a third try when O’Donoghue scored and Healy converted to get the gap down to five and that was the way it finished in front of a reduced crowd of 2,000 at Loftus.

United Rugby Championship Round 6 (Rescheduled) Round-Up

Two pairs of brothers started for Munster with the Scannells joining Fineen and Josh Wycherley in the starting XV for the second time in their careers.

Four Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players were included in the squad with Alex Kendellen making his first start at 8.

Mark Donnelly and Eoin O’Connor made their URC debuts when coming on in the second half.

Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell (Damian de Allende, 51), Simon Zebo (Jack Crowley, 70); Ben Healy, Neil Cronin (Paddy Patterson, 55); Josh Wycherley (Mark Donnelly, 68), Niall Scannell (Diarmuid Barron, 50-79), Stephen Archer (John Ryan, 55) ; Jean Kleyn (Eoin O’Connor, 61), Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Chris Cloete (John Hodnett, 51), Alex Kendellen.

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