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Team Named | Munster Side To Face Ospreys In Champions Cup

November 15, 2019 11:45 am By The Editor

Keith Earls makes his first appearance of the season on Saturday.

Keith Earls makes his first appearance of the season on Saturday. Inpho

Head Coach Johann van Graan has named the Munster side for Saturday’s Champions Cup opener away to Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium (5.30pm, live on BT Sport).

There are five changes to the side that defeated Ulster in the Guinness PRO14 last week.

Keith Earls starts on his first Munster appearance of the campaign with Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray, Jeremy Loughman and Tommy O’Donnell also coming into the starting XV.

Mike Haley starts at full-back with last week’s match-winner Andrew Conway and Earls on either flank.

Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell continue their centre partnership with Murray and Bleyendaal in the half-backs.

Loughman, Niall Scannell and John Ryan pack down in the front row with Loughman making his first Champions Cup start.

Jean Kleyn and Billy Holland start in the engine room with captain Peter O’Mahony, O’Donnell and CJ Stander completing the side.

Tadhg Beirne is named among the replacements and is in line to make his first Munster appearance of the season.

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Tadhg Beirne, Arno Botha, Alby Mathewson, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin.

Video | Press Pass

Upcoming Home Games

Saturday, November 23

CHAMPIONS CUP: Munster v Racing 92, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here

Friday, November 29

GUINNESS PRO14: Munster v Edinburgh, Irish Independent Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Saturday, December 7

CHAMPIONS CUP: Munster v Saracens, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | Last-Gasp Cronin Try Hands Munster Bonus Point Victory

November 16, 2019 7:48 pm By The Editor

Munster celebrate James Cronin

Munster celebrate James Cronin's bonus-point try. Inpho

A last-minute James Cronin try secured a crucial bonus-point for Munster in their Champions Cup opener at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening in front of a fantastic travelling support.

Man of the Match Jeremy Loughman scored his first Champions Cup try on his first start in the competition with second-half tries from Keith Earls, Andrew Conway and James Cronin’s last-gasp effort after a huge maul secured the bonus point.

Tyler Bleyendaal kicked 12 points in the victory, next up for the province is a Thomond Park clash against Racing 92 next Saturday at 5.30pm. Buy match tickets here.

Munster were the better side in the first half but Ospreys defended superbly to limit the visitors to a 13-6 half-time lead.

Luke Price and Bleyendaal traded two penalties each in the opening 28 minutes before the vital first Munster try.

The attack went through 25 phases before Ospreys halted the move with a knock-on as they looked to intercept. Conor Murray went for the quick tap and after going through the phases again, Loughman powered over for the score.

Munster made the ideal start to the second half with Earls scoring in the left corner, somehow keeping his feet in touch despite the recovering Ospreys tackle.

The move was started by Tommy O’Donnell as he peeled off the rolling maul to make a big break down the right wing. The ball was swung left and Mike Haley gave the final pass for Earls to finish expertly in the corner.

The win was all but secured after 51 minutes when Loughman showed great skills to get the ball to Farrell and he released Conway to scorch over from 50 metres. Bleyendaal landed the very difficult conversion for a 25-6 advantage.

Ospreys kept battling and deservedly scored a late try through Aled Davies after the scrum-half scored off a quick tap from close range.

It looked as if Munster were to be denied the four-try bonus point but the visitors kept plugging away and scored through a rolling maul on 84 minutes with 12 men piling in to secure the score.

Cronin was the man to ground it and Bleyendaal kicked the conversion in a fantastic finish.

Champions Cup Round 1 Round-Up

Man of the Match Jeremy Loughman scored his first Champions Cup try in the win.

Keith Earls and Tadhg Beirne made their first appearances of the season

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway (Sammy Arnold, 70), Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell (Dan Goggin, 67), Keith Earls; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray (Alby Mathewson, ); Jeremy Loughman (James Cronin, 60), Niall Scannell (Kevin O’Byrne, 60), John Ryan (Stephen Archer, 51); Jean Kleyn (Tadhg Beirne, 54), Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell (Arno Botha, 59), CJ Stander.

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