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Team Named | Munster Side To Face Leinster At The Aviva

August 21, 2020 11:58 am By The Editor

Billy Holland and RG Snyman start in the second row as Snyman makes his Munster debut.

Billy Holland and RG Snyman start in the second row as Snyman makes his Munster debut. Inpho

The Munster team has been named for Saturday night’s eagerly-awaited return to rugby against Leinster in the Guinness PRO14 at the Aviva Stadium (7.35pm, live on eir Sport).

It will be Munster’s first game in six months with new signings Damian de Allende and RG Snyman both starting on their debuts.

Shane Daly makes his fifth start at full-back in his 18th appearance for the province with Ireland internationals Andrew Conway and Keith Earls on either flank.

De Allende is partnered in the centres by Chris Farrell with Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

James Cronin, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer start in the front row with Snyman and Billy Holland in the engine room.

The side is completed by the back row of captain Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and CJ Stander.

There are five forwards on the bench with Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan providing the front row back-up.

Lock Jean Kleyn and back-row Chris Cloete complete the forward cover.

Craig Casey, Rory Scannell and new signing Matt Gallagher, who is set to make his debut, are the backline replacements.

Head Coach Johann van Graan said: “It was a real squad effort the last nine weeks, everyone gave it their all.

“Unfortunately, we can only pick 23 players. There were a lot of close calls and that just shows the depth that we’ve created.

“With such a long season coming up, everybody wants to play the first game but there’s a lot of rugby to be played.

“We said all along that getting back to playing rugby on Saturday night is our sole objective.

“A few of the guys in isolation were very close to getting into the team and they worked really hard but obviously the fact they were in self-isolation ruled them out.

“They are training away at home and as soon as they come out of self-isolation, they will be available for selection again.”

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

Munster: Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; RG Snyman, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Chris Cloete, Craig Casey, Rory Scannell, Matt Gallagher.

Player Update

Jack O’Donoghue was not available for selection having sustained a concussion at training this week.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | Narrow Loss For Munster In Aviva

August 22, 2020 9:35 pm By The Editor

JJ Hanrahan goes through a gap.

JJ Hanrahan goes through a gap. Inpho

Munster fell to a 27-25 defeat to Leinster behind closed doors in the Guinness PRO14 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday night.

There were two tries from Andrew Conway, his 43rd and 44th for the province, 10 points from the boot of JJ Hanrahan and a wonder finish from Keith Earls.

Prior to kick-off, there was a moment’s silence to mark the loss of life suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic. After this, both sides formed a circle to demonstrate that rugby stands united against racism and to emphasise the game’s core values of solidarity and respect.

A groin injury saw James Cronin pulled from the starting XV before kick-off and there was further bad luck on the injury front in the opening minutes as Dave Kilcoyne – Cronin’s replacement – and RG Snyman departing after just seven minutes.

Despite those setbacks, Munster grabbed an early stranglehold and struck the first blow on 13 minutes.

Stephen Archer, Chris Farrell and Damian de Allende made big carries in the build-up before JJ spun it wide for Andrew Conway to dive over for a hard-earned try. Hanrahan added the extras and Munster led 7-0.

Leinster hit back through a maul try from Cian Healy on 20 minutes after a break from Garry Ringrose gave the hosts good field position. Jonathan Sexton kicked to the corner after Munster indiscipline and the Leinster forwards drove over with Sexton’s conversion making it 7-all.

CJ Stander won a big penalty at the breakdown to give Hanrahan his second shot at goal and the out-half struck a sweet penalty to move Munster back in front, 10-7 with 26 minutes played.

Leinster were level six minutes later with Munster pinged at the breakdown on this occasion as Sexton made it 10 apiece.

Stander latched on to win another breakdown penalty on 35 minutes with Hanrahan nailing a superb penalty from 45 metres out on the right flank.

Leinster snatched the lead for the first time on the stroke of half-time as Robbie Henshaw stabbed a kick through for Garry Ringrose to score their second try. Sexton’s conversion gave Leinster a 17-13 advantage.

James Lowe scored in the left corner to increase the Leinster lead after 52 minutes with Sexton’s conversion making it 24-13.

Stander came up with another big penalty at the breakdown to give Munster a great attacking platform but the Leinster defence repelled the attack.

Lock Jean Kleyn, who had earlier replaced RG Snyman, became the third Munster player to depart injured after 57 minutes with centre Rory Scannell having to replace the second row as Chris Farrell went into the lineout.

Devin Toner was sin-binned around the hour mark as the Leinster lineout infringements started to stack up and Munster hit back four minutes later.

Another period of sustained pressure was rewarded with a try as Earls produced a wonder finish to slam down in the left corner past Luke McGrath.

Hanrahan’s touchline conversion was immaculate and Munster trailed by just four with quarter of an hour left.

A Ross Byrne penalty moved Leinster seven points clear with 10 minutes to go but a brilliant Conway finish got Munster to within two points with JJ narrowly off target with the conversion from out wide.

Munster kept attacking but a late Devin Toner intercept allowed Leinster to clear and secure a narrow victory.

Guinness PRO14 Round 14 Round-Up

James Cronin was ruled out ahead of kick-off with a groin injury with his replacement Dave Kilcoyne (ankle) and RG Snyman (knee) both departing injured after seven minutes. Jean Kleyn (neck) also departed injured in the second half. All four players will be assessed by the medical department.

Chris Farrell was awarded Man of the Match.

Munster remain second in Conference B ahead of next Sunday’s clash against Connacht at the Aviva Stadium.

Munster: Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray (Craig Casey, 70); Dave Kilcoyne (inj, Jeremy Loughman, 8), Niall Scannell (Rhys Marshall, 53), Stephen Archer (John Ryan, 53); RG Snyman (inj, Jean Kleyn, 8) (Rory Scannell, 56), Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell (Chris Cloete, 48), CJ Stander.

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