Cloete injury blow as Munster face tough Cheetahs test

Munster claimed a second bonus-point victory in a week as their perfect start to the PRO14 season continued in Port Elizabeth against Southern Kings.

Cloete injury blow as Munster face tough Cheetahs test

Picture: Inpho
Picture: Inpho

Munster claimed a second bonus-point victory in a week as their perfect start to the PRO14 season continued in Port Elizabeth against Southern Kings.

Mike Haley’s first-half effort gave Munster the advantage, and after their hosts hit back to take the lead, Alby Mathewson, Fineen Wycherley and Arno Botha tries meant all five points went to the Irish province.

There were plenty of positives for Munster including a return to action for prop Liam O’Connor and a debut for Led Holloway, but the loss of flanker Chris Cloete with a serious ankle injury, while playing against his former team is a big setback for Johann van Graan’s side.

On Friday, Munster now face Cheetahs in Bloemfontein – both teams have collected ten points in their opening games – and van Graan says his squad have plenty of improvements to make before they tackle the Currie Cup champions.

“Tactically we did one or two good things and one or two average things. Stephen (Larkham) and I discussed it in the coach’s box: we created enough opportunities, we just needed to finish a few more. That’s something we’ll look at in the coming week,” said van Graan.

“You can’t underestimate the travel. We had a bus trip from Limerick to Dublin, flew to Doha, flew to Johannesburg, and flew to Port Elizabeth and we had six days to acclimatise South African rugby temperatures.

“Next week will be even more difficult against a class side and playing at altitude against the Cheetahs.”

Picture: Inpho
Picture: Inpho

Munster did create plenty of try-scoring chances in this game, but they only took one of the four that came their way in the first half.

Shane Daly – man of the match for the second week in a row – Haley and Botha all had tries ruled out before Haley scored their first in the 20th minute.

It came off Darren Sweetnam’s chip over the top, which he gathered himself, and Haley scored in the corner.

The respective out-halves had exchanged penalties before that, and JJ Hanrahan, who kicked five from five, converted to put Munster 10-3 clear, but Demetri Catrakilis added his second penalty as Kings trailed 10-6 at half-time.

A try from Stefan Ungerer put Kings in front early in the second half, but with Jack O’Donoghue to the fore, Munster lifted their efforts.

Daly’s brilliant break resulted in Mathewson’s try after 51 minutes, and after Cloete was stretchered off, Wycherley had a try awarded 12 minutes from time – although replays suggest he was short of the try-line.

And ten minutes from the end Botha broke through to score on home soil, which meant all five points went Munster’s way, despite Eric Louw’s late consolation for Kings.

Picture: Inpho
Picture: Inpho

Cloete was only on the field for eight minutes after he had replaced captain Tommy O’Donnell, and van Graan confirmed he had sustained a significant injury.

“It looks like a serious injury. He is going to the hospital with our medial team, hopefully, we’ll have a bit more information later tonight or tomorrow. I just spoke to him and it seems like there is definitely something wrong.”

Scorers for Southern Kings:

S Ungerer, E Louw tries; cons, D Catrakilis 2 cons, 2 pens.

Scorers for Munster:

M Haley, A Mathewson, F Wycherley, A Botha tries; JJ Hanrahan 4 cons, pen.

SOUTHERN KINGS:

M Banda; A Loubser (J Twum-Boafo 62), T Kruger, JT Jackson, C Winnaar; D Catrakilis, S Ungerer (J Allderman 74); J Schoeman (A Tshakweni 62), A van Rooyen (J du Toit h-t), P Scholtz (R de Klerk 66); J Sexton (B de Wee 32-40 HIA) (E Louw 63), A Fortuin; L Badiyana (B de Wee 53), T Burger, R Lerm.

MUNSTER:

M Haley; D Sweetnam, D Goggin (T Bleyendaal 68), R Scannell, S Daly; JJ Hanrahan, A Mathewson (N Cronin 59); L O’Connor (J Cronin 61), K O’Byrne, S Archer (J Loughman 61); D O’Shea (B Holland 54), F Wycherley (L O’Connor 79); J O’Donoghue, T O’Donnell (C Cloete 59) (J Holloway 67), A Botha.

Referee:

Dan Jones (Wales).

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More in this section

CourtsRugbyPro14Place: BloemfonteinPlace: LimerickPlace: DublinPlace: DohaPlace: JohannesburgPlace: Port ElizabethPlace: WalesPerson: CloetePerson: Mike HaleyPerson: Alby MathewsonPerson: Fineen WycherleyPerson: Arno BothaPerson: Liam O’ConnorPerson: Led HollowayPerson: Chris CloetePerson: Johann van GraanPerson: van GraanPerson: StephenPerson: LarkhamPerson: DarrenSweetnamMunstervKingsOct19Inpho_large.jpgPerson: Shane DalyPerson: HaleyPerson: BothaPerson: Darren SweetnamPerson: JJ HanrahanPerson: Demetri CatrakilisPerson: Stefan UngererPerson: Jack O’DonoghuePerson: DalyPerson: MathewsonPerson: WycherleyPerson: Eric LouwPerson: Tommy O’DonnellPerson: S UngererPerson: E LouwPerson: CatrakilisPerson: M HaleyPerson: F WycherleyPerson: M BandaPerson: A LoubserPerson: J TwumPerson: BoafoPerson: T KrugerPerson: JT JacksonPerson: WinnaarPerson: D CatrakilisPerson: J AlldermanPerson: J SchoemanPerson: A van RooyenPerson: J du Toit hPerson: P ScholtzPerson: R de KlerkPerson: J SextonPerson: HIAPerson: E Louw 63Person: A FortuinPerson: L BadiyanaPerson: B de WeePerson: T BurgerPerson: D SweetnamPerson: D GogginPerson: T BleyendaalPerson: R ScannellPerson: S DalyPerson: N CroninPerson: L O’ConnorPerson: K O’ByrnePerson: S ArcherPerson: J Loughman 61Person: D O’SheaPerson: B HollandPerson: J O’DonoghuePerson: T O’DonnellPerson: C CloetePerson: J HollowayPerson: Dan JonesEvent: PRO14Event: Currie CupEvent: Rugby World CupOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: CheetahsOrganisation: Southern KingsOrganisation: Kings
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