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Team Named | Munster Side To Face Connacht

December 31, 2021 11:55 am By The Editor

Gavin Coombes and Craig Casey both start for Munster against Connacht on Saturday.

Gavin Coombes and Craig Casey both start for Munster against Connacht on Saturday. Inpho

The Munster team has been named for the United Rugby Championship clash against Connacht at the Sportsground on New Year’s Day (5.15pm).

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

Jack O’Donoghue captains the side with seven changes to the team that defeated Castres in the Champions Cup last time out.

20-year-old Greencore Munster Rugby Academy back-row forward Alex Kendellen makes his first Munster start on his fourth appearance for the province following his Champions Cup debut against Castres two weeks ago.

Stephen Archer, Gavin Coombes, Shane Daly, Mike Haley and Fineen Wycherley all start on their first appearances since October with Craig Casey and Kendellen also coming into the starting XV.

Haley is named at full-back with Andrew Conway and Daly on either flank.

Damian de Allende and Chris Farrell continue their centre partnership with Casey and Ben Healy in the half-backs.

Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Archer pack down in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Wycherley in the engine room.

The back-row combination of O’Donoghue, Kendellen and Coombes completes the starting XV.

Included among the replacements, Rory Scannell is in line to make his 150th appearance for the province.

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; Ben Healy, Craig Casey; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Alex Kendellen, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, Keynan Knox, Thomas Ahern, Jack Daly, Neil Cronin, Jack Crowley, Rory Scannell.

Press Pass

Hear from Senior Coach Stephen Larkham and out-half Ben Healy ahead of the game.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | Narrow Loss For Munster At Connacht

January 1, 2022 7:34 pm By The Editor

Andrew Conway scores his 49th Munster try.

Andrew Conway scores his 49th Munster try. Inpho

Munster fell to a 10-8 defeat at the Sportsground in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday evening.

Andrew Conway scored his 49th Munster try and Ben Healy kicked a penalty but Connacht were deserving winners of a scrappy affair.

A Ben Healy Garryowen caused havoc in the Connacht 22 early on with Jack O’Donoghue claiming the loose ball but the hosts got over the ball to win the turnover penalty.

20-year-old Alex Kendellen, making his first start, was unlucky to be pinged when he looked to get over the ball minutes later. Jack Carty kicked to the corner but the Munster pack did superbly to repel their counterparts.

Damian de Allende was penalised for playing a loose ball on the deck on 15 minutes with Carty making it 3-0.

Mike Haley was obstructed as he chased a garryowen moments later and Healy made it 3-3 from long range.

Munster hit the front on 23 minutes as Healy hammered the ball clear after a Connacht knock-on. Healy chased the kick and blocked the retreating Mack Hansen’s clearance with Shane Daly following up before Conway touched down in the left corner. Healy was unable to add the conversion.

A Jack O’Donoghue lineout steal saw Munster go back on the attack but the Connacht maul defence was good and forced the turnover.

The visitors ended the half well on top and a long, looping pass from Healy sent Conway away from the right but the Connacht defence recovered to stop the winger just short of the line.

After conceding four penalties in the red zone, Oisin Dowling was eventually sent to the sin bin for offside on 37 minutes.

Munster kept the pressure on as Connacht continued to give away penalties but the hosts’ defence stood firm to keep the score at 8-3.

Ben Healy and Shane Delahunt were both sin-binned for the first 10 minutes of the second half after a number of players clashed on their way off the pitch at half-time.

Fitzgerald was narrowly off target with a Connacht penalty on 43 minutes before Mike Haley did superbly to catch Kieran Marmion after the scrum-half intercepted a Craig Casey pass as Munster attacked deep inside the Connacht 22.

A long-range effort from Healy went just wide on 54 minutes with Chris Farrell shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Tom Farrell shortly afterwards.

Fitzgerald kicked to the corner and Connacht mauled over with Bundee Aki touching down to make it 8-8 as Fitzgerald’s conversion made it 10-8 to Connacht after 58 minutes.

Connacht did well to play much of the remainder in Munster territory and see out the win, Munster’s first loss at the Sportsground since 2017.

United Rugby Championship Round 9 Round-Up

Greencore Munster Rugby Academy back-row Alex Kendellen made his first Munster start.

Jean Kleyn departed with a knee injury early in the second half and will be assessed by the medical department.

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; Ben Healy, Craig Casey (Neil Cronin, 66); Dave Kilcoyne (Jeremy Loughman, 59), Niall Scannell (Diarmuid Barron, 59), Stephen Archer (Keynan Knox, 59); Jean Kleyn (inj, Thomas Ahern, 44), Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Alex Kendellen (Jack Daly, 63), Gavin Coombes.

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