Connacht 10 Munster 16
Common to have clouds over the Sportsground, however after Saturday’s Pro14 fixture, each Munster and Connacht stay involved with the dearth of readability on rugby’s future throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
With European competitors as a result of resume subsequent week on the mercy of the French authorities, the knock-on impact on golf equipment is taking a toll, says Connacht head coach Andy Pal.
“We have to know. The one factor that hurts and frustrates individuals is uncertainty, so we want readability what Monday appears to be like like.
“Each week you’re working day-by-day, and it does takes its toll, and I’m talking on behalf of everybody right here at Connacht Rugby. It’s been an extended six months. Sure, we nonetheless are nonetheless taking part in and we love what we do, and the uncertainty is no one’s fault, however it does add stress, not simply to Connacht, however each Pro14 and European staff. So the faster we will get a readability on what the subsequent few weeks appears to be like like, the higher for everybody.”
Munster’s Joann van Graan says that, since lockdown, “change is the one certainty”.
“I’m not going to lie. It’s not preferrred. However we’re so fortunate to play rugby. Because the 4 provinces, we may give individuals an out for his or her psychological area. We’ve such empathy with everybody. It’s far more essential than rugby, but when we will play an element in placing a number of smiles on individuals’s faces, that’s nice.”
No too many smiles from Connacht although after failing to nail a second interprovincial win. Down 16-3 after 61 minutes, Pal’s males did bag a 78th minute attempt, however spurned a golden alternative to take full spoils with an 82nd minute penalty. With Munster replacements Rory Scannell and Nick McCarthy each within the bin, Connacht, opted for a five-metre scrum, and man of the match Tadhg Beirne as soon as once more turned poacher to damage any Sportsground celebration.
It might have been a Connacht steal, however irritating never-the-less for Pal.
“Ought to have received,” he says. “A 5 metre scrum with 15 in opposition to 13 on the finish of 80 minutes of soccer. It’s very irritating to have labored that arduous, had that combat proper as much as the loss of life when you need to take it, however didn’t. We’ll want to take a look at it – a scrum – the one factor we didn’t wish to do.”
It ensured Munster stretched their lead on the high of Convention B by 11 factors of their push for a spot on this yr’s closing. Their aggressive defence stymied Connacht’s greatest attacking play, which included some eight entries into the 22 and, coupled with Munster’s unstoppable maul, it was a deserved victory.
“Glad we got here by this one,” says van Graan. “It’s an away interpro, so you are taking any away win you’ll be able to. Actually robust place to come back, particularly in opposition to a aspect excessive in confidence. To defend a scrum 5 yards from our attempt line with 13 males, we did rather well.
“We got here right here to play greater than we did when it comes to ball in hand, however circumstances had been robust. Connacht are presently the most effective sides in Europe as soon as they get contained in the 22, they usually put us underneath strain.”
It was not fairly stuff however Munster, boasting some 378 internationals caps of their beginning XV in comparison with Connacht’s 58, loved a dominant opening 40 minutes to guide 10-3.
Having been let off the hook when Carty missed a 3rd minute penalty, Munster opened the scoring six minutes later. JJ Hanrahan made no mistake after Connacht had been judged to have illegally stopped a maul, and the outcome was an early yellow card for hooker Shane Delahunt.
The maul, alas, supplied the platform for Munster’s first attempt earlier than Chris Farrell touched down and Hanrahan added the conversion for a 10-0 lead.
Connacht, struggling within the face of Munster’s defence led by Gavin Coombes, Beirne and CJ Stander, finally opened with a three-pointer from Carty earlier than the break.
Nevertheless, Hanrahan saved Munster’s scoreboard ticking over earlier than Connacht gained momentum kind a penalty to the touch, however once more exited their 22 with no reward.
When Munster continued to dominate possession with Hanrahan potting a 61st minute penalty after Sammy Arnold was the participant pinged on the breakdown, that ought to have been it. Nevertheless, a yellow card for Scannell after a succession of penalties for not rolling away had Munster on the again foot for the primary time.
Connacht had an opportunity and shortly took it with Peter Sullivan scoring their first attempt with simply two minutes remaining and Carty’s touchline conversion introduced Connacht inside a rating.
With 30 seconds on the clock a penalty conceded gave Connacht a glimmer of sunshine. After a clear lineout and a frenetic sequence of assaults, Ultan Dillane got here inside 5 metres of scoring. And when McCarthy was then penalised, it arrange a dramatic finale. Alas, Connacht opted for a scrum and couldn’t make the large benefit rely.
Scoring sequence: 10mins Hanrahan pen, 0-3; 18mins Farrell attempt, Hanrahan coversion, 0-10; 40 minutes Carty penalty, 3-10; HT Connacht 3 Munster 10; 42 minutes Hanrahan penalty, 3-13; 61 minutes Hanrahan pen, 3-16; 78 minutes Sullivan attempt, Carty conversion, 10-16.
Connacht: J Porch; B O’Donnell, S Arnold, T Daly, A Wootton; J Carty, C Blade; D Buckley, S Delahunt, F Bealham; U Dillane, Q Roux; S O’Brien, C Oliver, S Masterson. Replacements: D Heffernan for Masterson 15 minutes; S Masterson for Heffernan 20 minutes; P Boyle for O’Brien 41 minutes; M Burke for Buckley 48 minutes; D Heffernan for Delahunt 48 minutes; P Sullivan for O’ Donnell 49 minutes; D Robertson-McCoy for Bealham 52 minutes; Okay Marmion for Blade 53 minutes; G Thornbury for Masterson 53 minutes. Yellow card: S Delahunt.
Munster: M Haley; Okay Earls, C Farrell, D de Allende, S Daly; JJ Hanrahan, C Murray; J Cronin, Okay O’Byrne, S Archer; J Kleyn, T Beirne; G Coombes, P O’Mahoney, CJ Stander. Replacements: F Wycherley for Kleyn 15 minutes; N Scannell for O’Byrne 52 minutes; Okay Knox for Archer 52 minutes; J Wycherley for Cronin 59 minutes; B Healy for Hanrahan 61 minutes; B Holland for Coombes 64 minutes; R Scannell for Daly 70 minutes; N McCarthy for Murray 73 minutes. Yellow playing cards: R Scannell, N McCarthy.
Referee: Frank Murphy.