Munster impress in title defence

Munster began the defence of their interprovincial women’s title with an impressive 13-point victory away to Ulster at Kingspan Stadium (3-16).

The visitors, who had Niamh Kavanagh and a number of international stars in their starting line-up, had far too much experience and led 8-3 at the interval.

Ulster battled bravely after the restart before Munster added to their tally with a late breakaway try and penalty.

Ulster co-coach Philip Doyle said: “Munster had a lot of possession and we were defending a lot but the team played extremely well under pressure. The scoreline flattered Munster but they were the better team on the day and deserved their win. We are getting close to the standard required, and we turned the corner last season and are on the road to getting where we need to be.”

In the day’s other game Connacht edged out Leinster 8-5 at Tuam RFC. Full-back Mairead Coyne was instrumental, her try giving the hosts a 5-0 half-time lead.

Leinster, without a host of international players, fought back on the restart and were rewarded with a try from debutant Eimear Corri. A Clare Raftery penalty edged Connacht into a lead they would not relinquish.

Connacht coach John Paul Walsh said: “We have been back in training since the middle of June and that has stood to the team. There was one defensive blip in the second half which ended up in a try scored against us but the girls played very well and I’m pleased with the result. The squad is small with only 25 players so any injuries put us under pressure but everyone is driving each other on to step up a level.”

On Saturday Leinster host Ulster in Donnybrook while Connacht face Munster in Musgrave Park.

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