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Hard Fought Win For Munster ‘A’

March 19, 2015 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Hard Fought Win For Munster ‘A’

Munster ‘A’ played out a keenly contested interprovincial encounter against Ulster Ravens earlier this afternoon, eventually winning out 30-24 at Nenagh Ormond RFC.

An error strewn opening 10 minutes saw both sides knock on in attack and cough up possession at set piece, particularly in the line out.

Munster did however show dominance at scrum time, but again failed to secure line out possession from the subsequent penalties.

The hosts eventually drew first blood when Ravens infringed at the breakdown and captain Rory Scannell was on hand to slot the opening penalty after 10 minutes.

It was the Ulster-men who would strike next, laying down a marker and letting their hosts know that they meant business. Despite Munster retaining most of the possession, the visitors would not be stopped once they got their rolling maul going deep in the Munster 22 – Bronson Ross touching down for the opening try of the game.

Munster's reply was swift, an opportunistic intercept from Paddy Butler and further good running from Neil Cronin and Donnacha Ryan brought them deep into the opposition 22. From there Munster showed patience and resolve, going through numerous before Shane Buckley touched down with Scannell adding the extras.

Butler later saw yellow for interference in the line out and straight away Ravens took advantage of the extra man.

Now it was their turn to go through relentless phases within inches of the whitewash. Desperate defence would eventually lend itself to ill discipline from the hosts with Ulster forcing the penalty try. Returning international Paddy Jackson was on hand to convert.

Another Scannell penalty handed the lead back to Mick O'Driscoll's charges and it was they who entered the dressing rooms in the ascendancy, 13-12.

The opening exchanges of the second 40 saw Munster reduced to 13 men when Stephen Archer also saw yellow with Butler still in the bin.

With the northern outfit looking to capitalise on their numerical advantage, Munster did extremely well to neutralise the Ulster onslaught and force the knock on.

However, this period still saw Ulster retain the lion's share of possession, and at the second time of asking, they would make no mistake – centre Mark Best coming from deep and at pace to break the defence and dot down for their third try of the evening.

As they had done previously, Munster fought back emphatically.

Scrum-half Neil Cronin sniped around the fringes from close quarters to touch down, and soon after Ben Kilkenny crossed from the back of an effective maul. Scannell converted both to hand the hosts a ten point lead.

Still the tit for tat scoring continued and Ulster reduced the gap to 3 thanks to a penalty try at scrum time, but that was as close as they would get for the remainder of the game.

Try as Ravens might with wave after wave of attack, Munster displayed a steadfast defence making the crucial turnovers when it mattered most.

It was the captain Rory Scannell who closed out proceedings, landing a penalty on the stroke of full time, making Munster 'A' six point winners in a hard fought and exciting contest at Nenagh Ormond RFC.

Munster A: R Scannell 3 pen & 3 con, S Buckley 1 try, N Cronin 1 try, B Kilkenny 1 try.
Ulster Ravens: B Ross 1 try, M Best 1 try, K Joyce 1 con.
Munster A: Johne Murphy; Andew Conway, Dan Goggin (Johnston 20), Ivan Dineen (Sweetnam 50), Luke O'Dea (McCarthy 65); Rory Scannell - capt., Neil Cronin (Glynn 65); Peter McCabe (O’Connor 40), Kevin O'Byrne (Scannell 40), Stephen Archer (Ryan 45); Joe McSwiney, Donnacha Ryan (Bradshaw Ryan 50); Shane Buckley (Nicholas 60), Ben Kilkenny, Paddy Butler.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Liam O'Connor, John Ryan, Frank Bradshaw Ryan, Lee Nicholas, Jamie Glynn, Dave Johnston, Diarmuid McCarthy, Darren Sweetnam.
Ulster Ravens: Ricky Andrew; Jack Owens, Mike Stanley, Mark Best, Rory Scholes; Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall; Andrew Warwick, John Andrew, Branson Ross, Lewis Stevenson – capt., Neil McComb; Frank Taggart, Sean Reidy,  Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Paul Jackson, Dave Ryan, Ricky Lutton, Stephen Mulholland, Dan Shanahan, Michael Heaney, Kieran Joyce, Johnny Rosborough, Peter Dunlop, Josh Atkinson.