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Team Named | Munster Side To Face Leinster

January 22, 2021 11:54 am By The Editor

Mike Haley will make his 50th appearance for Munster on Saturday night.

Mike Haley will make his 50th appearance for Munster on Saturday night. Inpho

The Munster team to face Leinster has been named by Head Coach Johann van Graan ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 Interpro derby at Thomond Park (7.35pm).

There are two changes to the side that won away in Connacht two weeks ago as Rhys Marshall and John Ryan come into the front row.

Peter O’Mahony captains the side with CJ Stander, Mike Haley and replacement Jack O’Donoghue set to make landmark appearances.

Already the province’s most-capped overseas signing, Stander will make his 150th Munster appearance against Leinster.

Haley will make his 50th appearance for the province at full-back while Jack O’Donoghue, who has 128 Munster appearances, is set to play his 100th game in the PRO14.

James Cronin packs down alongside Marshall and Ryan in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne in the engine room.

Gavin Coombes, O’Mahony and Stander form the back row.

Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan start in the half-backs with a centre partnership of Damian de Allende and Chris Farrell.

Haley starts at full-back with Keith Earls and Shane Daly on either flank.

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

Munster: Mike Haley; Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Gavin Coombes, Peter O’Mahony (C), CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Jack O’Donoghue, Craig Casey, Ben Healy, Rory Scannell.

Video | Press Pass

Hear from Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan and centre Damian de Allende ahead of the game.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | Narrow Loss To Leinster

January 23, 2021 9:28 pm By The Editor

Ben Healy passes to Gavin Coombes.

Ben Healy passes to Gavin Coombes. Inpho

Munster fell to a narrow defeat to Leinster at Thomond Park on Saturday night with Guinness Player of the Match Tadhg Beirne scoring the Munster try as JJ Hanrahan kicked a penalty and conversion.

The losing bonus point sees Munster increase their lead at the top of Conference B to 12 points, although Connacht do have one game in hand.

Munster started the game at a very high tempo and were rewarded with an early lead thanks to a superb 50-metre Hanrahan penalty.

Rhys Ruddock was pinged for not rolling away after a quick Munster lineout was thrown to CJ Stander in midfield and Hanrahan gave the province a 3-0 lead.

The pack then won a scrum penalty and Hanrahan kicked Munster into the Leinster 22.

It was clinical from there on in with the forwards making the hard yards before Beirne crossed from close range with a vital latch from Jean Kleyn and Peter O’Mahony helping him over the line.

Hanrahan converted to make it 10-0 after 11 minutes.

A superb Shane Daly clearance kept Leinster pinned back in their own 22 as Munster kept the pressure on but a misfiring lineout let Leinster off the hook.

The visitors were off the mark on 26 minutes after James Cronin was penalised at the breakdown and Johnny Sexton’s penalty made it 10-3.

Keith Earls then made a vital intervention to prevent Jordan Larmour from touching down as he reached the ball first after the Leinster winger kicked in behind.

Earls had to carry it over however and Leinster had the five-metre scrum and after forcing a number of penalties, Beirne lifted the siege for Munster with a huge turnover.

An unlucky sequence of events before the break saw Leinster reduce the margin to four points.

With the clock in the red, Hanrahan’s long-range penalty struck the post and Rhys Marshall slipped into a tackle and Leinster kicked the penalty downfield.

The visitors took full advantage of the let-off and Sexton kicked his second penalty four minutes into additional time after a Cronin infringement.

Munster came strong out of the blocks again after the break but Hanrahan was unable to land his second penalty off the tee.

Beirne came up trumps again when Leinster were camped on the Munster line after 55 minutes with excellent defence repelling the attack before Beirne pounced at the breakdown.

A perfectly judged Mike Haley kick bounced into touch a yard from the Leinster line as Munster continued to edge the kicking battle.

Leinster hit the front for the first time on 69 minutes as Jordan Larmour scored after Ross Byrne chipped through and Hugo Keenan collected before passing for Larmour to score in the right corner.

Byrne converted and Leinster led 13-10 with 10 minutes to go.

Munster looked to rescue the game in the final minutes but the visitors’ defence held firm.

Guinness PRO14 Round 9 Round-Up

CJ Stander made his 150th Munster appearance on Saturday night with Mike Haley playing his 50th game for the province.

Tadhg Beirne was awarded Guinness Player of the Match.

Munster are back in action away to Benetton next Saturday at 5pm Irish time.

Munster: Mike Haley; Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan (Ben Healy, 53), Conor Murray (Craig Casey, 74); James Cronin (Dave Kilcoyne, 53), Rhys Marshall (Niall Scannell, 50), John Ryan (Stephen Archer, 53); Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Gavin Coombes (Jack O’Donoghue, 64), Peter O’Mahony (C) (Fineen Wycherley, 67), CJ Stander.

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