Munster opened their Kearys Renault Series with a 29-38 defeat to Grenoble Rugby in Thomond Park this evening.
Despite the defeat it was an enjoyable evening for the 4178 supporters in attendance with 11 tries scored in an open and competitive encounter.
With the game broken in to four 20 minute periods there was a lack of cohesion at times but overall Head Coach Anthony Foley was pleased with the performance and efforts made by the squad with a number of players making their return from respective injuries and nine players making their Munster debuts.
The five Munster tries came from Captain Cathal Sheridan, Shane Buckley (2), Matt D’Arcy and Darren Sweetnam while Tyler Bleyendaal kicked 2 conversions.
Grenoble crossed on 6 occasions with Laurent Bouchet, James Percival, Gio Aplon, Denis Coulson (2) and Arnaud Heguy all claiming the spoils, while Jonathan Wisniewski added 3 conversions and Christophe Loustalot kicked the final extras.
Munster’s earliest substitution saw Tyler Bleyendaal make way for young Bill Johnston after 30 minutes. Bleyendaal reported a tight groin and all precaution was taken in removing him early from the game, and it was the same scenario for Robin Copeland (shoulder) when he left the field of play after 41 minutes. Foley addressed the media post –match and confirmed it wasn’t the night to be taking any chances with players reporting niggles.
Previous to Tyler’s exit he was certainly making an impression on his debut with his overall game management and control. The New Zealander also provided Clontarf’s Matt D’Arcy with the perfectly timed offload to send him clear for Munster’s second try on his debut.
9’ Try Laurent Bouchet 0-5; Conversion Jonathan Wisniewski 0-7
17’ Try Cathal Sheridan 5-7; Missed conversion Tyler Bleyendaal 5-7
21’ Try Shane Buckley 10-7; Conversion Tyler Bleyendaal 12-7
25’ Try Matt D’Arcy 15-7; Conversion Tyler Bleyendaal 19-7
34’ Try James Percival 19-12; Conversion Jonathan Wisniewski 19-14
44’ Try Gio Aplon 19-19; Missed conversion Jonathan Wisniewski 19-19
47’ Try Darren Sweetnam 24-19; Missed conversion David Johnston 24-19
53’ Try Denis Coulson 24-24; Conversion Jonathan Wisniewski 24-26
56’ Try Denis Coulson 24-31; Missed conversion Jonathan Wisniewski 24-31
66’ Try Shane Buckley 29-31; Missed conversion David Johnston 29-31
77’ Try Arnaud Heguy 29-36; Conversion Christophe Loustalot 29-38
Referee: Gary Conway (IRFU)
Munster: David Johnston; Darren Sweetnam, Cian Bohane (Steven McMahon 60), Matt D'Arcy, Gerhard van den Heever (Diarmaid McCarthy 60); Tyler Bleyendaal (Bill Johnston 30), Cathal Sheridan Capt. (Ryan Foley 61).; John Ryan (Peter McCabe 60), Niall Scannell (Kevin O’Byrne HT), BJ Botha (Rory Burke 60); John Madigan (Donncha O’Callaghan HT), Dave Foley (John Madigan 60); Shane Buckley, Jordan Coghlan (Conor Oliver 60), Robin Copeland (Sean McCarthy 41).