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Team Named | Munster Side To Face Dragons

October 31, 2020 11:50 am By The Editor

Keynan Knox and Josh Wycherley to start against Dragons.

Keynan Knox and Josh Wycherley to start against Dragons. INPHO/Bryan Keane

The Munster side has been named for Sunday’s Round 4 Guinness PRO14 game against Dragons at Rodney Parade (2pm – live on TG4, eir Sport, Premier Sports and S4C).

There are seven changes to the side that recorded victory against Cardiff Blues in Thomond Park on Monday night.

Fresh from making his Guinness PRO14 debut, Academy prop Josh Wycherley makes his first start this time around, as he and Keynan Knox, making his first appearance of the campaign, scrum down either side of hooker Kevin O’Byrne.

Jean Kleyn joins captain Billy Holland in the engine room, while in the back row Chris Cloete takes his place at openside with last week’s try scorers Jack O’Donoghue and Gavin Coombes retaining their places.

Scrum-half Craig Casey, who starts his fourth successive game, is paired up with JJ Hanrahan in the half backs this week.

Rory Scannell makes the positional switch to outside centre and in doing so frees up the number 12 shirt for Damian de Allende to come in.

The final change to the back three sees Matt Gallagher start at full-back with Calvin Nash and Darren Sweetnam on the wings.

In the replacements the Academy’s Thomas Ahern and Jake Flannery are included with Ahern in line to make his Munster debut should he be introduced.

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

Munster:  Matt Gallagher; Calvin Nash, Rory Scannell, Damian de Allende, Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey; Josh Wycherley, Kevin O’Byrne, Keynan Knox; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (C); Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements:  Diarmuid Barron, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Thomas Ahern, Tommy O’Donnell, Nick McCarthy, Jake Flannery, Jack O’Sullivan.


Hear what Forwards Coach Graham Rowntree and Darren Sweetnam had to say this week in the build up to Sunday’s game.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | Munster Make It Four From Four Against Dragons

November 1, 2020 3:57 pm By The Editor

Craig Casey was Guinness Player of the Match for the second time in four games.

Craig Casey was Guinness Player of the Match for the second time in four games. Inpho

Munster made it four wins from four to start the Guinness PRO14 season against Dragons in the wind and rain at Rodney Parade on Sunday afternoon.

It is the first time since 2015 that Munster have won their first four games in the Guinness PRO14.

Matt Gallagher scored his first two tries for the province with Calvin Nash also dotting down as JJ Hanrahan kicked 13 points.

Four Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players featured as Josh Wycherley made his first start with John Hodnett also starting as Thomas Ahern made his senior debut off the bench with Jake Flannery also coming on for his second appearance.

A late change to the Munster side saw Hodnett come straight into the starting XV as Chris Cloete was ruled out with a neck injury.

Sam Davies kicked Dragons into a 3-0 lead after three minutes with JJ Hanrahan levelling the score with his first penalty after seven minutes.

In slippery conditions, Damian de Allende made a great break up the left wing with Munster eventually winning a scrum penalty and going to the corner but Dragons successfully repelled the Munster maul.

The visitors were on top and took the lead through Matt Gallagher’s first Munster try on 14 minutes. A brilliant Craig Casey break from the base of a ruck set up the score with a fantastic Hodnett offload allowing Gallagher to finish well in the right corner.

Hanrahan’s touchline conversion drifted wide but the out-half kicked his second penalty on 22 minutes after further pressure to give Munster an 11-3 advantage.

Munster were flying now and scored another great try after 25 minutes through Nash. The move was started by a superb Gallagher counter from inside his own 22. Rory Scannell chipped a lovely angled grubber in behind the Dragons defence with Darren Sweetnam racing onto it before offloading to the supporting Nash to score.

Hanrahan’s conversion gave Munster an 18-3 lead after 25 minutes.

Dragons responded well and Davies dotted down for the Welsh side after the Munster defence were unable to gather the chip and the out-half pounced to score. Davies couldn’t convert his own try and Munster’s lead was 18-8 with 30 minutes played.

Both sides had opportunities in the final 10 minutes of the half but the defences held firm and Munster led 18-8 at the break.

A positive Start to the second half for Dragons saw Davies kick his second penalty on 47 minutes to get Dragons within a converted try, 18-11.

The hosts were on top now but when the botched a lineout from five metres out, JJ Hanrahan was able to boot the free-kick deep into the Dragons half.

Full-back Josh Lewis then kicked out on the full to give Munster a great attacking chance. A slick lineout move and reverse pass from Kevin O’Byrne sent Nash through a gap with Dragons eventually penalised and Hanrahan restored the 10-point Munster lead after 51 minutes, 21-11.

Sweetnam thought he had scored the third Munster try minutes later when he dotted down after Hanrahan’s kick in behind but the winger was ahead of JJ when he kicked through.

Another Sweetnam try was chalked off after great interplay with Gallagher as replacement Jack O’Sullivan was penalised for obstructing a Dragons defender.

Greencore Munster Rugby Academy man Thoma Ahern came on for his debut with 20 minutes to go and the victory was sealed after 72 minutes thanks to Gallagher’s second try.

Damian de Allende set up the try as he drifted past the Dragons defence in midfield and passed for Gallagher to speed in and dive over in the right corner.

Hanrahan converted to put Munser 28-11 in front and Dragons finished strongly and scored the final try late on.

Guinness PRO14 Round 4 Round-Up

Matt Gallagher scored his first two Munster tries.

Craig Casey was awarded Guinness Player of the Match for the second time in four games.

Academy prop Josh Wycherley made his first Munster start having made his debut off the bench against Cardiff last week.

Academy lock Thomas Ahern made his senior debut as a replacement with fellow Academy players John Hodnett and Wycherley starting & Jake Flannery making his second appearance off the bench.

With Ahern and Jack O’Donoghue in action, two Waterford players lined out together for the province for the first time in the Guinness PRO14.

Diarmuid Barron, Keynan Knox and Jack O’Sullivan made their first appearances of the season.

Munster: Matt Gallagher; Calvin Nash, Rory Scannell, Damian de Allende, Darren Sweetnam (Jake Flannery, 72); JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey (Nick McCarthy, 72); Josh Wycherley (James Cronin, 53), Kevin O’Byrne (Diarmuid Barron, 66), Keynan Knox (Stephen Archer, 53); Jean Kleyn (Thomas Ahern, 61), Billy Holland (C); Jack O’Donoghue (Tommy O’Donnell, 66), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes (Jack O’Sullivan, 53).

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