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Team Named | Munster Side To Face Scarlets

February 28, 2020 3:03 pm By The Editor

Academy man Jack O’Sullivan keeps his place at no.8.

Academy man Jack O’Sullivan keeps his place at no.8. Inpho

Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan has included three Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players in the squad for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 clash against Scarlets at Thomond Park (5pm).

Buy match tickets here.

Academy back-row Jack O’Sullivan keeps his place at no.8 and is set to make his seventh senior appearance with Diarmuid Barron and John Hodnett among the replacements.

There are five changes to the side that secured a bonus-point win away to Zebre last week.

Billy Holland returns to captain Munster with Chris Farrell back from international duty as Dan Goggin, Kevin O’Byrne and Stephen Archer also return to the starting XV.

Mike Haley starts at full-back with Calvin Nash and Darren Sweetnam completing the back three.

Craig Casey and JJ Hanrahan continue in the half-backs with Goggin and Farrell forming the centre partnership.

James Cronin, O’Byrne and Archer pack down in the front row with Fineen Wycherley and Holland in the engine room.

A back row of Arno Botha, Chris Cloete and Academy man O’Sullivan complete the side.

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

Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin, Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey; James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (C); Arno Botha, Chris Cloete, Jack O’Sullivan.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Gavin Coombes, John Hodnett, Nick McCarthy, Rory Scannell, Tommy O’Donnell.

Player News

Niall Scannell suffered a low grade knee injury against Zebre last week that has ruled him out of Saturday’s clash, the injury is expected to be a short-term one.

Shane Daly underwent a scan earlier this week that showed a low grade groin strain. The injury prevented him from training this week but he will be a travelling reserve on Saturday.

Jack O’Donoghue aggravated an existing neck issue at the end of last week that hadn’t settled sufficiently to allow him train fully this week and therefore was not considered for selection.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | Last-Gasp Coombes Try Secures Bonus-Point Against Scarlets

February 29, 2020 7:53 pm By The Editor

Billy Holland celebrates his try.

Billy Holland celebrates his try. Inpho

A last-gasp Gavin Coombes try secured a vital bonus-point win for Munster over Scarlets in incredibly difficult conditions at an extremely blustery Thomond Park on Saturday evening.

Academy man Jack O’Sullivan scored his first Munster try to give the province a 10-3 half-time lead with tries from Billy Holland and Coombes (two) clinching the bonus point.

Dan Jones kicked Scarlets into an early lead after Munster were pinged at the breakdown but Munster levelled matters through a JJ Hanrahan penalty after 23 minutes following a period of intense pressure.

Scarlets were down to 14 when Sam Lousi was shown a red card for throwing two punches and Munster took advantage almost immediately.  O’Sullivan crossed from close range for his first Munster try after 35 minutes after another big spell of pressure with Hanrahan’s conversion making it 10-3 to the hosts.

Munster were in the ascendancy from the start of the second half against the 14 men and Holland sniped down the blindside after a rolling maul. Hanrahan was unable to convert from the touchline and Munster led 15-3.

A Munster high tackle gave Scarlets the chance to hit back as the visitors kicked to the corner and replacement prop Javan Sebastian managed to ground with Jones converting to make it 15-10.

Scarlets were down to 13 for the final 10 minutes when Tevita Ratuva’s dangerous tackle on John Hodnett yielded a yellow card.

Coombes scored his first Munster try after 72 minutes when a maul was stopped just short but the West Cork man managed to score from close range. Hanrahan slotted over the touchline conversion for a 22-10 lead with eight minutes to find the bonus-point try.

Darren Sweetnam very nearly scored it in the left corner but was adjudged to have knocked on but Munster kept pushing and after a series of scrums, they finally crossed with Coombes again finishing from close range for the vital fourth try.

Guinness PRO14 Round 3 Round-Up 

Hooker Kevin O’Byrne was awarded Player of the Match.

Three Academy players featured for Munster, Jack O’Sullivan, Diarmuid Barron and John Hodnett.

Jack O’Sullivan and Gavin Coombes both scored their first tries for Munster.

Munster move to within two points of Conference B leaders Edinburgh and are now eight points ahead of third-placed Scarlets.

Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin (Rory Scannell, 70), Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey (Nick McCarthy, 74); James Cronin (Jeremy Loughman, 57), Kevin O’Byrne (Diarmuid Barron, 74), Stephen Archer (John Ryan, 57); Fineen Wycherley (Gavin Coombes, 35-40 & 67), Billy Holland (C); Arno Botha, Chris Cloete (John Hodnett, 62), Jack O’Sullivan (Tommy O’Donnell, 66).

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