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Team Named | Munster Side To Face Ulster

January 7, 2022 11:56 am By The Editor

Seán French makes his first start for Munster.

Seán French makes his first start for Munster. Inpho

The Munster side has been named for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship clash against Ulster at Thomond Park (7.35pm).

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

There are seven changes to the side that faced Connacht in Galway last week with Rory Scannell starting at inside centre on his 150th appearance for the province.

Seán French makes his first start for Munster having made a try-scoring debut off the bench last year. The former Ireland U20 winger has featured for Cork Constitution in the AIL this season.

Captain Peter O’Mahony, Simon Zebo, Jack Crowley, Thomas Ahern and John Hodnett also come into the starting XV.

Mike Haley starts at full-back with French and Zebo on either flank.

Scannell and Chris Farrell, who has signed a new two-year contract, form the centre partnership with Craig Casey and Crowley in the half-backs.

Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer pack down in the front row with Ahern and Fineen Wycherley in the engine room.

O’Mahony, Hodnett and Gavin Coombes complete the starting XV.

Zebo and Rory Scannell make their first appearances since October with Josh Wycherley, John Ryan and Tadhg Beirne coming into the squad as replacements.

Damian de Allende was unavailable for selection having picked up an abdominal injury during the week.

Munster: Mike Haley; Seán French, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo; Jack Crowley, Craig Casey; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Thomas Ahern, Fineen Wycherley; Peter O’Mahony (C), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Josh Wycherley, John Ryan, Tadhg Beirne, Jack O’Donoghue, Neil Cronin, Ben Healy, Shane Daly.

Press Pass

Hear from Graham Rowntree and Mike Haley ahead of the clash.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | 14-Man Munster Fight Back To Beat Ulster

January 8, 2022 10:03 pm By The Editor

14-Man Munster

Mike Haley dives over to score the first Munster try. Inpho

14-man Munster produced a gutsy performance to beat Ulster at Thomond Park on Saturday night with Greencore Academy man Alex Kendellen clinching the victory with his first try for the province.

The limited attendance of 5,000 were vocal throughout and helped the side come through as the squad showed great character throughout.

Tadhg Beirne was named Player of the Match with try-scorer Mike Haley also outstanding as Munster recovered from losing Simon Zebo to a red card after just 14 minutes.

Ulster led 7-0 early on after a Rob Herring maul try before Zebo’s red card for a high tackle on Michael Lowry. Johann van Graan’s men responded well to the setback and two Jack Crowley penalties kept Munster in it at the break although Ulster led 10-6.

Superb Munster defence prevented Ulster from adding to their try tally after the break and tries from Haley and Kendellen secured a big win against the odds.

It was a very difficult start for the province with captain Peter O’Mahony ruled out after the warm-up with Beirne taking his place and Kendellen joining the replacements.

Herring’s try off a maul on seven minutes was converted by John Cooney and the visitors were boosted when Zebo was sent off after accidentally catching Lowry high when chasing a garryowen.

Beirne did brilliantly to repel an attacking Ulster maul and a big Dave Kilcoyne hit on Greg Jones typified the solid Munster defence.

14-man Munster were in the ascendancy late in the second quarter as Ulster gave away a number of penalties near their own line but the hosts couldn’t get the vital try with Crowley settling for three.

Munster kept up the pressure with Crowley kicking his second penalty on 39 minutes but Ulster replacement Nathan Doak had the last say in the first half with his first penalty to make it 10-6.

Thomas Ahern came up with a big lineout steal early in the second half with Craig Casey winning back possession on the deck moments later as Munster continued to defend doggedly.

More strong Munster maul defence kept Ulster out before Doak kicked his second penalty on 56 minutes after an Ulster scrum penalty against the replacement Munster front row to make it 13-6.

A Kieran Treadwell yellow card on 58 minutes for a tackle on Shane Daly evened things up for 10 minutes and Crowley kicked to the corner.

Ulster defended the maul well before Munster went through the phases and Casey put Haley over in the right corner on the hour.

Crowley’s conversion struck the post as Munster trailed 13-11 into the final quarter.

Beirne won a huge breakdown penalty on 64 minutes and Munster went on the attack again as Healy kicked up to the Ulster 22 but Kendellen uncharacteristically lost the ball in contact.

Ulster were back to 15 when Munster scored the superb winning try.

Haley made the initial break and after going through the phases, Jack O’Donoghue broke through a tackle to bring Munster into the Ulster 22.

Gavin Coombes was held up just short before Fineen Wycherley had a go at the line with the ball somehow popping back for Kendellen to dive over for a vital try.

Ben Healy converted to give Munster an 18-13 lead with Beirne, of course, coming up with another breakdown steal late on to see out a deserved win.

URC Round 10 Round-Up

Peter O’Mahony was a late withdrawal after reporting a leg strain in the warm-up.

Academy back-row forward Alex Kendellen scored his first try for Munster.

Tadhg Beirne captained Munster for the first time and was named Player of the Match on his 30th birthday.

Seán French made his first start for Munster.

Munster: Mike Haley; Seán French (Shane Daly, 51), Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo; Jack Crowley (Ben Healy, 61), Craig Casey (Neil Cronin, 72); Dave Kilcoyne (Josh Wycherley, 51), Niall Scannell (Diarmuid Barron, 51), Stephen Archer (John Ryan, 51); Thomas Ahern (Jack O’Donoghue, 64), Fineen Wycherley; Tadhg Beirne (C), John Hodnett (Alex Kendellen, 62), Gavin Coombes.

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