O’Driscoll’s young side on ‘learning curve’

Munster A 27 Moseley 21

O’Driscoll’s young side on ‘learning curve’

The decent-sized attendance were happy that Munster left with the points safely banked but it was a very close affair as a physically stronger Moseley pack provided all kinds of problems for Munster and threatened to take full advantage of several handling errors by the home side.

The expectation that Munster would have it easy against a team struggling close to the bottom of the English Championship table looked to be well founded as early as the third minute when out-half Rory Scannell threaded through a lovely little grubber kick for left wing Ronan O’Mahony to touch down in the corner.

However, Moseley quickly settled down and trailed 11-6 at the interval only because Scannell landed a superb penalty from the halfway line with the last kick.

A try by Moseley hooker Adam Coates five minutes after the break levelled the scores and it wasn’t until Paddy Butler finished off a fine move in the 78th minute to move the score to 29-14 that Munster could breathe easily.

Even then, there was time for Caolan Ryan to slip over for a second Moseley try that earned the visitors a deserved losing bonus point.

“We knew they were going to have a big, physical pack and we had a very young side, certainly a very young front row, and it was always going to be difficult,” said O’Driscoll.

“Perhaps we underestimated them a small bit and I think the lads did well to win it. It will be a big learning curve for them going to Worcester next week, which is going to be a bigger challenge again.

“It was good for the younger fellas and Christy Condon made a big difference when he came into the front row.

“Christy, Niall Kenneally, Andy O’Driscoll only came in on Thursday for training and I thought the three of them did superbly.

“It is difficult to put a team together when you don’t know what’s available to you and we have a few injuries as well.

“Rory Scannell did what an out-half has to do and kicked his goals. Cathal Sheridan did very well also while the captain, Jack O’Donoghue, is coming on.

“He’s a good young player, only 20, and with a bit of game time, he’ll get there.”

MUNSTER A: S Fitzgerald; L O’Dea, D Goggin, N Kenneally, R O’Mahony; R Scannell, C Sheridan; A Cotter, M Abbott, R Burke; S Buckley, S McCarthy; P Butler, B O’Mahony, J O’Donoghue (capt).

Replacements: C Condon for Burke (52), G O’Shea for Fitzgerald (59), A O’Driscoll for Abbott (60), D Moloney for B O’Mahony (60).

MOSELEY: M Penn; D Cheshire, S Armstrong, W Owen, L Roach; S Olver, D Brazier; D Hobbs-Awoyemi, A Caves, S Thorp, N Dacres, M Powell capt, H Hone, C Thomas, E Siggery.

Replacements: S Tolmie for Caves (43), W Thomas for Hobbs-Awoyemi (61), C Ryan for Brazier and J Skelcey for Brazier and Olver (70).

Referee: C Evans (Wales).

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