Welcome return for Sherry as Munster win

Worcester Warriors 26

Munster 35

Worcester

Dolphin’s Brian Scott scored his first try for Munster to edge them in front in the dying moments of a good preseason workout against Worcester at Sixways.

And James Hart crowned his debut with a try in the final play of the game but perhaps the most significant event of the night was the return of Mike Sherry for his first action since May 2016. At one stage it was feared the back injury might end his career but he battled back and came on for the final quarter of an entertaining contest.

Munster made the better start with Rhys Marshall sending Tommy O’Donnell over for a fourth minute try but it was Worcester who led 26-14 at the end of an entertaining opening half.

Worcester, captained for the first time by Donncha O’Callaghan, hit back with another former Munster stalwart Peter Stringer setting up his half-back partner Sam Olver for a try.

Stringer was extremely busy in the opening half — Jean Kleyn spent 10 minutes in the bin for a high tackle on him at one stage — and Warriors opened up a 19-7 lead after half an hour.

Dean Hammond intercepted a pass from new signing Chris Farrell to score, while another South African Wynand Olivier punished some slack defending when he darted through to score.

Munster’s South African signing Gerbrandt Grobler displayed great hands to set up Duncan Williams for a try four minutes from the break.

But Worcester had the final say of the half when a half-blocked clearance from Olver bounced kindly for right winger Perry Humphreys and he sprinted down the right wing for their fourth try.

Both sides emptied their extended replacement benches in the second-half which, inevitably, led to a more disjointed half, but the most significant change came on the hour when hooker Mike Sherry came on.

Munster got back in the contest after 56 minutes when Marshall and Alex Wootton combined down the left before coming infield for Williams to race through for his second try, with the convert from Ian Keatley cutting the gap to 26-21.

Munster piled on the pressure in the closing minutes and were rewarded for a patient build-up when Scott got in for his first try for the province which Keatley converted from the left touchline to edge them in front.

Munster sealed the win in the final play when Hart crowned his debut with a try.

Scorers for Worcester:

Tries: S Olver, D Hammond, W Olivier, P Humphreys. Cons: Olver (3).

Munster:

Tries: D Williams (2), T O’Donnell, B Scott, J Hart. Cons: I Keatley (3), T Bleyendaal (2).

WORCESTER WARRIORS:

J Adams; P Humphreys, W Olivier, J Willison, D Hammond; S Olver, P Stringer; R Bower, J Singleton, B Alo; D O’Callaghan, P Phillips; M Cox, S Lewis, GJ Van Velze.

Replacements used:

J Taufete’e, J Wrafter, S Thorp, C Scotland-Williamson, H Taylor, J Arr, T Heathcote, T Howe, M Williams, D Barry, A Faosiliva, W Butler, J Shillcock, B Howard.

MUNSTER:

S Fitzgerald; D Sweetnam, C Farrell, J Taute, A Wootton; T Bleyendaal, D Williams; L O’Connor, R Marshall, S Archer; J Kleyn, G Grobler; B Holland, T O’Donnell, J O’Donoghue.

Replacements used:

M Sherry, B Scott, S O’Connor, R Coffey, J Hart, I Keatley, D Goggin, S McCarthy, D Johnston.

Referee:

L Pearce (England).


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