Munster repel spirited Connacht fightback

MUNSTER have every reason to be pleased with a hard-fought win over a gritty Connacht side in the rain at the Mardyke last night.

Having led by just four points at the interval, Munster were forced to endure anxious moments in the third quarter before pulling away to secure victory.

Munster led 13-0 early on, thanks to two penalties from JJ Hanrahan and a converted penalty try.

But the visitors quickly narrowed the gap when the brilliant Rory Cunningham blocked down an attempted clearance to narrow the gap to eight.

After Hanrahan kicked another penalty, Cunningham was at the end of a spectacular movement and centre Niall Kenneally added the extra points to leave the half-time score 16-12.

Having survived that mini siege, Munster came back to enhance the lead with a penalty from Gareth Quinn-McDonogh and made sure of the win when Lucas Kuntz rounded off a fine movement to score a 68th-minute try.

Scorers for Munster: L Kuntz try; Penalty try; JJ Hanrahan 3 pens, con; G Quinn McDonogh pen.

Scorers for Connacht: R Cunningham 2 tries; N Kenneally con.

MUNSTER U20: G Quinn-McDonagh, (Shannon); L Kuntz (Garryowen), C Hircock (Garryowen), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemian), C Quinn (CBC); J Holland (UCC), R Barry (UCC); J Randles (Crescent), N Scannell (Dolphin), P Mullen (Kings Hospital); C O’Flaherty (PBC), D O’Mahony (PBC); S Buckley (Rockwell, capt), L Cahill (Rockwell), S Hanbridge (Cork Constitution).

Replacements: T Goggin (UL Bohemian) for Buckley, D Horgan (PBC) for Hanrahan (both h/t), K O’Byrne (UCC) for Scannell (55), R O’Herlihy (PBC) for O’Mahony (71), J Costigan (PBC) for Quinn (75).

CONNACHT: S Leyden (Roscrea), D Butler (Creggs), P Finn (Buccaneers), N Kenneally (UL Bohemian), C Finn (Roscrea), P Hughes (Sligo), M Dolan (Corinthians, capt), A Spring (Sligo), T Power (UL Bohemian), G Fahy (Galwegians), B Moylett (Roscrea), D Qualter (Buccaneers), D Heffernan (Lansdowne), T Cunningham (Galwegians), A Conneely (Corinthians).

Replacements: D Higgins (Ballinasloe) for Fahy (h/t), C Boland (Buccaneers) for Finn (55), C Thompson (Newbridge) for Power (63), T Leader (Galwegians) for Hughes (66)J Carty (Buccaneers), C Boland (Buccaneers), for Kenneally and Finn (both 71).

Referee: K Beggs (IRFU).


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