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Team Named | Munster Side To Face Connacht

May 13, 2021 11:45 am By The Editor

Matt Gallagher starts at full-back against Connacht.

Matt Gallagher starts at full-back against Connacht. Inpho

The Munster side has been named for Friday’s Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash against Connacht at Thomond Park (6pm).

Find out all you need to know ahead of the game here. See the latest news on our Academy players in this month’s Academy Update here.

There are nine changes to the starting XV from last week’s 38-10 win over Ulster as Matt Gallagher, Damian de Allende, Ben Healy, Craig Casey, James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland and CJ Stander all come into the side.

Gallagher makes his first start since injuring his shoulder against Zebre in November and is named at full-back having made his return to action off the bench in March.

Wingers Andrew Conway and Shane Daly are unchanged with de Allende joining Dan Goggin in the centres.

Academy out-half Ben Healy starts on his 17th appearance of the season with Casey at scrum-half.

Cronin, Marshall and John Ryan start in the front row with Billy Holland making his 246th Munster appearance in the second row alongside Jean Kleyn.

Gavin Coombes, captain Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander start in the back row.

Jack O’Donoghue, Joey Carbery and Keith Earls join the squad as replacements with Conor Murray in line to make his 150th Munster appearance off the bench.

Munster: Matt Gallagher; Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; Ben Healy, Craig Casey; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Gavin Coombes, Peter O’Mahony (C), CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Tadhg Beirne, Jack O’Donoghue, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Keith Earls.

Video | Press Pass

Hear from Head Coach Johann van Graan and Craig Casey ahead of the game.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | Munster Fall To Defeat At Thomond

May 14, 2021 8:37 pm By The Editor

Rhys Marshall in action against Connacht.

Rhys Marshall in action against Connacht. Inpho

Munster fell to a narrow defeat but secured a losing bonus-point in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup at Thomond Park on Friday evening as a dogged Connacht outfit claimed a hard-fought win.

Rhys Marshall and James Cronin touched down for Munster with scores from Peter O’Mahony and Andrew Conway also ruled out as Ben Healy and Joey Carbery added points off the tee.

The loss is Munster’s first Rainbow Cup defeat having beaten Leinster and Ulster in the opening two rounds.

The hosts were dealt a setback before kick-off as Gavin Coombes was a late withdrawal from the side through illness with Jack O’Donoghue starting in his absence and Fineen Wycherley coming into the replacements.

Conor Fitzgerald kicked Connacht into an early lead after Marshall was pinged for offside but Munster responded with the first try from Cronin.

Connacht were unable to gain much ground exiting from Ben Healy’s restart and Munster went through the phases in the tight with Cronin showing good strength to dot down.

Munster fumbled the restart to hand Connacht a great opportunity with Sammy Arnold scoring in the left corner as Fitzgerald’s touchline conversion made it 10-7 to the visitors.

The pack dominated the early scrums and were awarded a penalty on 18 minutes but the lineout was botched and Connacht escaped.

Shane Daly was sent to the sin bin on 22 minutes for an intentional knock-on with Connacht taking advantage of the extra man as Fitzgerald darted through a gap for their second try on 26 minutes. The conversion made it 17-7.

Healy kicked to the Connacht five-metre line after another scrum penalty with the Munster maul doing the rest as Marshall touched down.

Healy converted to close the gap and Connacht led 17-14 at the interval.

A loose Munster pass in midfield allowed Kieran Marmion to score under the posts 42 seconds into the second half. Marmion sparked a melee by throwing the ball off Healy after the try and we restarted with a Munster penalty on halfway.

O’Mahony had a try ruled out on 44 minutes after a Jack O’Donoghue obstruction in the build-up with another set-to in the aftermath.

Munster were playing with the advantage and opted for a five-metre scrum but the ball went loose and the chance was gone.

Healy landed a monster penalty on 51 minutes after good work from Damian de Allende at the breakdown to make it 24-17.

Fitzgerald kicked the restart out on the full with Munster again earning a scrum penalty and kicking into the Connacht 22 but Denis Buckley won a crucial turnover.

Replacement Joey Carbery kicked his first penalty on 64 minutes after a Connacht breakdown infringement to make it a four-point game.

Conway looked to have put Munster back in front after Peter O’Mahony did superbly to get past Sammy Arnold and break up the left flank with Carbery executing the perfect crossfield kick for Conway to score in the right corner.

Unfortunately for Munster, the try was ruled out as the officials deemed that De Allende knocked on in the build-up.

Munster kept pushing in the final 10 minutes but the Connacht defence held firm.

A Captain’s Challenge from Munster after the full-time whistle was unsuccessful as they questioned the game-ending decision for a Stephen Archer knock-on but the officials didn’t overturn.

Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup Round 3 Round-Up

Conor Murray made his 150th Munster appearance as a replacement.

Gavin Coombes was a late withdrawal from the side through illness with Jack O’Donoghue starting in his absence and Fineen Wycherley coming into the replacements.

Munster: Matt Gallagher (Keith Earls, 70); Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; Ben Healy (Joey Carbery, 62), Craig Casey (blood & HIA Conor Murray, 14-27, 51); James Cronin (Dave Kilcoyne, 58), Rhys Marshall (Niall Scannell, 47), John Ryan (Stephen Archer, 58); Jean Kleyn (Fineen Wycherley, 78), Billy Holland (Tadhg Beirne, 51); Jack O’Donoghue, Peter O’Mahony (C), CJ Stander.

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