Mick O’Driscoll: Clash with Leinster a perfect warm-up for cup

Mick O'Driscoll

Leinster A: 8, Munster A: 18

MUNSTER A coach Mick O’Driscoll said Saturday’s inter-pro against old rivals Leinster sets them up well for the British & Irish Cup, which starts next weekend against Moseley in Clonmel.

A more experienced Munster side pulled away in the third quarter for the first of an unlikely double win over Leinster in Dublin on Saturday.

“We had a bit more experienced team and I think that showed at the end for us, but happy enough overall and plenty for us to work on over the next few weeks,” he said.

“We have a tough group this year in the B&I so it is a big step up for a lot of our guys. A lot of them will not have played any rugby at this level so it will be good to see where fellas are at.”

Irish international hooker Richardt Strauss started his first game since May when he played for over an hour as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

And Munster’s new hooker Eusebio Guinazu, signed on a short-term deal, also came through the useful encounter with his first taste of rugby in this country, with the Argentinian playing the second half.

Two good tries in the third quarter gave Munster victory in a game with a litany of handling errors.

Rory Scannell, having exchanged penalties with Cathal Marsh in the opening half, edged Munster ahead after the restart.

Then a good drive by Munster ended with Shane Buckley touching down after 48 minutes and they wrapped up the issue nine minutes later when Luke O’Dea scored.

A superb break by Leinster full-back Cian Kelleher was one of the highlights of the game and they piled on the pressure after that for Ross Byrne to score.

Scorers for Leinster A: Try: R Byrne. Pen: C Marsh.

Scorers for Munster A: Tries: S Buckley, L O’Dea. Pens: R Scannell 2. Con: R Scannell.

LEINSTER A: C Kelleher; S Coghlan Murray, C O’Shea, T Daly, A Byrne; C Marsh, N McCarthy; S McCarthy, R Strauss, O Heffernan; T Denton, G Thornbury; J Coghlan, J van der Flier, P Timmins.

Replacements: R O’Loughlin for O’Shea (11), R Byrne for Daly (25), R Molony for Coghlan (34), T Moran for Strauss (62), J Loughman for Heffernan (63), A Porter for S McCarthy (68).

MUNSTER A: J Murphy; R O’Mahony, I Dineen, R Scannell, L O’Dea; D Johnston, C Sheridan; A Cotter, K O’Byrne, R Burke; D O’Callaghan, S McCarthy; S Buckley, B O’Mahony, J O’Donoghue.

Replacements: E Guinazu for O’Byrne (40), D Goggin for Dineen (61), A Wootton for O’Dea (61), M Abbott for Burke (69), J Madigan for O’Callaghan (68), J Glynn for Sheridan (73), R Murphy for B O’Mahony (73).

Referee: P Fitzgibbon (IRFU).


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