Munster achieved their essential aim of taking all five Guinness Pro 14 points from the visit of the lowly Southern Kings by the half-time whistle at Musgrave Park and after that, it was little more than a romp for a bang-in-form home side who thrilled the appreciative Cork crowd of 6,854 with ten tries on a delightful evening for attacking football.
No AIL, no Ireland Under-20 success. Noel McNamara has stressed the importance of club rugby to the success of Ireland’s age-grade player pathway, as his side bids to continue the winning start to its Six Nations title defence.
The result was never going to be the primary indicator of the worth of this pre-season workout, but in running in six tries and building important momentum, there was a lot to like about the performance from Noel McNamara’s Ireland Under-20s.
A combination of Ryan Baird's 21st-minute red card and a luckless spate of injuries left the Ireland Under-20s exposed down the final stretch as Australia ruthlessly took advantage to claim a 45-17 bonus point win in Santa Fe.
It won’t prompt an update from the AA Roadwatch team but the steady traffic of players switching provinces will continue this summer on the back of IRFU performance director David Nucifora’s vision to maximise the playing pool.
Question marks may remain over his hamstring ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh but there is no doubting Joey Carbery’s allegiance to Munster with confirmation yesterday that the out-half has signed a two-year contract extension that will see him remain with the province until June 2022.
Ireland’s defeat of Scotland didn’t convince everyone that the toxins from the defeat to England in Dublin had been fully flushed from the system, but Andy Farrell believes the side deserves more credit for the manner in which they bounced back in Murrayfield.
It’s all too easy to take James Ryan’s youth for granted. An instant success in the unforgiving world of professional club and international rugby, he had Guinness PRO14, Champions Cup and Grand Slam successes to his credit before the age of 22 in his first season in the senior ranks.