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Team Named | Munster Side For Crunch Connacht Clash

August 28, 2020 11:53 am By The Editor

Tadhg Beirne makes his first appearance since last December.

Tadhg Beirne makes his first appearance since last December. Inpho

The Munster team to face Connacht in Sunday’s crunch Guinness PRO14 clash has been named by Head Coach Johann van Graan with a 3pm kick-off at the Aviva Stadium.

A win will secure Munster’s place in the Guinness PRO14 semi-finals and it is the first ever meeting of Munster and Connacht at the Aviva Stadium/Lansdowne Road.

The Munster backline is unchanged with five players coming into the pack.

Jeremy Loughman, John Ryan, Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne and Chris Cloete are all drafted into the side.

Beirne is in line to make his first appearance since sustaining an ankle fracture away to Saracens last December.

Shane Daly starts at full-back with last week’s try-scorers Andrew Conway and Keith Earls on either flank.

Damian de Allende and Chris Farrell pair up in the centres for the second time with Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

Loughman, Niall Scannell and Ryan pack down in the front row with Wycherley and Beirne starting in the engine room together for the first time.

Captain Peter O’Mahony, Cloete and CJ Stander complete the starting XV.

Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, Jack O’Donoghue and Jack O’Sullivan are named among the replacements and set to make their first appearances since the return to rugby.

O’Donoghue sustained a concussion at training last week but has completed the return to play protocols.

Head Coach Johann van Graan said: “We have training this afternoon and hopefully that goes well and all players selected come through that.

“Connacht really played well last Sunday against Ulster and it’s always a big battle facing them, we expect a very good game on Sunday afternoon.”

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; Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Craig Casey, Rory Scannell, Jack O’Sullivan.

The Munster squad will be wearing our new European kit for the first time on Sunday, pre-order yours from Life Style Sports here.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Report | Seven-Try Win For Munster Over Connacht

August 30, 2020 5:24 pm By The Editor

Tadhg Beirne celebrates his try on a Man of the Match performance.

Tadhg Beirne celebrates his try on a Man of the Match performance. Inpho

Munster will play Leinster in the Guinness PRO14 semi-finals at the Aviva Stadium next Friday at 7.35pm after a seven-try win over 13-man Connacht in Dublin on Sunday afternoon.

There were tries from Chris Cloete, Jeremy Loughman, a scrum penalty try, Tadhg Beirne, Andrew Conway (two) and James Cronin with JJ Hanrahan 100% off the tee.

Tadhg Beirne was awarded Man of the Match on his first appearance of 2020.

It was a messy encounter littered with penalties and both sides were down to 13 men each at one stage. There were two first-half red cards for Connacht with Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne both yellow-carded at the end of the first half.

Munster dominated the early exchanges as Beirne made an immediate impact winning an early breakdown penalty.

A yellow card for former Munster man Conor Oliver on seven minutes after a succession of early penalties against Connacht led to the first Munster try as Cloete scored off a lineout maul.

The lead was doubled thanks to a scrum penalty try after 15 minutes and Munster led 14-0.

Connacht showed their quality with a dangerous break from deep inside their own half which ended with an attacking lineout five metres out. Captain Peter O’Mahony did superbly to get his hand in and win the vital turnover.

The first Connacht red card came on 25 minutes as new signing Abraham Papali’i was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Conor Murray.

Dangerous play from Shane Delahunt on 35 minutes saw Connacht down to 13 men as he led with his elbow in a carry.

Loughman was over for the third Munster try from close range after a sustained period of pressure with Hanrahan making it 21-0.

Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne were both yellow-carded late in the first half for breakdown infringements to make it 13 v 13 with Bundee Aki scoring Connacht’s first try. Conor Fitzgerald’s conversion made it 21-7 at the interval.

Keith Earls had a try ruled out for a foot in touch before Murray set up Beirne for a try on his return. It was a perfect flat pass in midfield with Beirne racing in from 20 metres.

Munster scored their best try of the day on 52 minutes after an 80-metre move. Chris Farrell made the break from deep before Beirne took it on and managed to offload for Damian de Allende, who jinked through before passing to Conway for the fifth try. Hanrahan’s conversion made it 35-7 after 52 minutes.

The winger was in for his fourth try in two games moments later after JJ put a grubber in behind the Connacht defence and Conway won the race for another Munster try.

All of the replacements had been used by the hour and James Cronin was over for the seventh try following a rolling maul on 68 minutes.

Jonny Murphy scored Connacht’s second try on 70 minutes as the 13-man Westerners kept battling.

There were no further scores and all eyes are now on Friday night’s semi-final.

Guinness PRO14 Round 14 Round-Up

The bonus-point win earned Munster a place in the Guinness PRO14 semi-finals, where we will face Leinster on Friday at 7.35pm.

Tadhg Beirne was awarded Man of the Match on his first appearance of 2020.

Munster: Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; JJ Hanrahan (Rory Scannell, 57), Conor Murray (Craig Casey, 57); Jeremy Loughman (James Cronin, 48), Niall Scannell (Kevin O’Byrne, 55), John Ryan (Stephen Archer, 48); Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne (Billy Holland, 61); Peter O’Mahony (C) (Jack O’Donoghue, 55), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander (Jack O’Sullivan, 60).

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