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Munster Side Named For Cardiff

March 3, 2017 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus makes five changes and names Billy Holland as captain for tomorrow’s Guinness PRO12 round 17 clash away to Cardiff Blues at 5.15pm.

In two changes to the pack Darren O’Shea comes in to partner Holland in the second row with Robin Copeland making his return from a thumb injury to start at number 8.
 
Across the backline Ian Keatley re-joins Duncan Williams in the half backs with Rory Scannell and Jaco Taute resuming their partnership in midfield – Scannell overcoming the knock to his knee while Taute makes the positional switch from fullback.
 
The final changes sees Andrew Conway return at fullback.
 
In managing player load Tyler Bleyendaal was unavailable for selection with Dave Foley missing this weekend’s game due to illness.
 
Included on the bench for the second consecutive week, should he make an appearance, the academy’s Fineen Wycherley will win his first senior cap.
 
Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony, Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Darren O’Shea, Billy Holland – capt.; Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Robin Copeland.
 
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Peter McCabe, Brian Scott, Fineen Wycherley, Conor Oliver, Abrie Griesel, Dan Goggin, Francis Saili.
 
Cardiff Blues v Munster, Guinness PRO12 round 17, Saturday March 4th at Cardiff Arms Park, ko 5.15pm.

CLICK HERE for a full Cardiff v Munster match preview.
 
This game will be televised live on Sky Sports while a full list of international broadcasters can be found here.
 
For live updates on Twitter follow @munsterrugby #CBLvMUN

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Munster Bounce Back In Cardiff

March 4, 2017 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Scannell on the attack.

Once again Munster mounted a late comeback to go on and claim another Guinness PRO12 victory on the road, this time defeating Cardiff Blues 23-13 at the Arms Park.

In wasn’t until the 75th minute before a Rory Scannell drop goal and a subsequent Conor Oliver try secured the round 17 victory in Cardiff.

In dreadful conditions the Billy Holland captained side opted to play against the wind with the province managing the elements well in the first half, controlling the dominant possession. 

An injury to Ian Keatley twenty minutes in forced a backline reshuffle with Rory Scannell moving to 10 and Francis Saili introduced at outside centre.

Both sides missed opening penalty chances in the first quarter before Steven Shingler got his side off the mark after 22 minutes.  The kick was almost immediately cancelled out with Rory Scannell’s effort after the pack secured a scrum penalty.

Munster indiscipline allowed Shingler another opportunity off the tee and with Rory Scannell unable to convert his next attempt the Welsh side held on to the lead until half-time.

Trailing 6-3 at the break the men in red were unlucky not to get more out of the opening forty due to some final handling errors and inaccuracy, however, with the wind to come the province did  enough to stop their opponents from racking up more points. 

Minutes into the second period Cardiff Blues centre Willis Halaholo was issued a yellow card for a high tackle on Andrew Conway, and then while down to 14, and against the run of play, the hosts capitalised on a loose pass with Aled Summerhill claiming the intercept to run in under the posts.  Shingler added the simple conversion to increase the gap.

In chasing a ten point deficit Francis Saili took advantage of relaxed Cardiff defending as he recycled quick ruck ball to pick and go himself stepping the final defence of Matthew Morgan to score under the posts.  Scannell added the straight forward conversion and the province were back within three.

Moving into the final quarter Munster again played all the territory and held the majority of the possession yet the Blues stayed with them all the way making the province fight for everything. 

On 65 minutes Scannell got the sides level with a penalty after the Blues were pinged for offside, and it wasn’t until the 75th minute before the province went ahead for the first time with an opportunistic drop-goal taken by Rory Scannell.

The lead, and ultimately the win, was cemented with a final converted try from academy back row Conor Oliver.  

Guinness PRO12 Round 17 round-up:  Nineteen year old academy lock Fineen Wycherley made his Munster debut coming on for Robin Copeland.  Four academy players were named in the squad.

In securing the win Munster recorded their first clean sweep against the Welsh clubs in Wales (since the introduction of the regional sides), defeating Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons in Rodney Parade, Ospreys at the Liberty and Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park this season.

Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell (F Saili 21/D Goggin 78), Ronan O'Mahony, Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall (K O’Byrne 67), Stephen Archer; Darren O'Shea (C Oliver 47), Billy Holland – capt.; Dave O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, Robin Copeland (F Wycherley 67).
 

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