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Munster on top again

August 21, 2009 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Munster on top again

Tries in the first half from Damien Varley, Tommy O’Donnell and Danny Barnes all converted by the once again very impressive Jeremy Manning and a further Barnes try in the second half, this time converted by the equally impressive Paul Warwick helped Munster to a 31-23 victory over London Irish.

And it was a victory this Munster side, mixing youth with experience, fully deserved although the large attendance were given something of a fright when London Irish came within a score of the lead following a George Stowers try with seven minutes remaining that Ryan Lamb converted.

However, not for the first time on a balmy evening, Munster showed tremendous resilience and it was Warwick who settled the nerves with a superb long range penalty in the 78th minute.

Afterwards coach Tony McGahan expressed his satisfaction with the performance. "Yes, very happy with that," he said. " Tonight was a step up and a great result. The young lads were tremendous again tonight. Our defence was good. We mixed in a few of the older boys and good to have them back too. But the squad have been working well and that work has shown. So all in all very happy with the performance."

London Irish quickly ate into the Munster lead after the break with try from Sailosi Tagicakibau converted by Lamb who had earlier added a penalty.

But then the large crowd were treated to a superb try when Danny Barnes scored on the right after superb hands from Tom Gleeson and replacement Scott Deasy. Warwick converted but a Jamie Leonard drop goal and Lamb’s conversion of George Stowers try in the 73rd minute set up a nervy finish.

But it was Munster – reinforced with the second half arrival of Mick O’Driscoll, Peter Stringer, Denis Fogarty and Felix Jones- who held their nerve best to emerge worthy winners.

Tries: Damien Varley, Tommy O'Donnell, Danny Barnes (2)
Cons: Jeremy Manning (3), Paul Warwick
Pens: Paul Warwick
Tries: Sailosi Tagicakibau, George Stowers
Cons: Ryan Lamb (2)
Pens: Ryan Lamb (2)
DG: Jamie Leonard
D Hurley; D Riordan, T Gleeson, P Warwick capt, D Barnes; J Manning, T Morland; D Ryan, D Varley, T Buckley; I Nagle, B Holland, T O'Donnell, N Ronan, D Leamy

Replacement (from): D Fogarty, J Brugnaut, R O'Mahony, S Archer, F Jones, S Deasy, P Stringer, E Grace, M O'Driscoll

D Armitage; A Thompstone, T Homer, C Gower, S Tagicakibau; R Lamb, P Richards; D Murphy, D Paice, P Ion; G Johnson; K Roche; R Thorpe, S Armigage, C Hala'Ufia

Replacements from: C Dermody; J Buckland; A Perry, N Kennedy; P Hodgson; J Lennard; D Danaher; J Fisher; G Stowers; J Joseph; A Lalanne; M Watson