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O’Mahony To Start Against Leinster

October 7, 2016 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

As part of five changes for tomorrow’s Guinness PRO12 interprovincial against Leinster, Peter O’Mahony returns to the starting line-up and resumes his role as captain.

Showing no ill effects from his return to competitive action last weekend, flanker O’Mahony is one of three personnel changes to the pack with Niall Scannell and John Ryan returning to the front row. 
 
Two positional switches in the pack see Donnacha Ryan move to 4, partnered by Billy Holland who reverts to the second row.
 
In the backs, Rory Scannell has successfully rehabbed the neck injury he sustained against Cardiff in round 2 to start alongside Keith Earls in the centre for the first time this season.  The final change sees Ronan O’Mahony start on the left wing.
 
Should he feature from the bench tomorrow, Robin Copeland will make his first appearance of the season while also named among the replacements is Jack O’Donoghue who returns to action following a neck injury picked up in the win over Edinburgh in round 4.
 
Munster XV: Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Keith Earls, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony – capt., Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.
 
Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Robin Copeland, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Jaco Taute.
 
Leinster v Munster, Guinness PRO12 round 6, Saturday October 8th at the Aviva Stadium, ko 2.05pm. Tickets can be purchased online here.

 
Despite scoring 46 tries in becoming Munster's all-time leading try scorer, Simon Zebo has never scored against old rivals Leinster.  He looks ahead to tomorrow’s game.

 

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Munster Fail To Fire In Leinster

October 8, 2016 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Disappointingly Munster suffered a comprehensive 25-14 defeat to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium in round 6 of the Guinness PRO12 this afternoon.

An Ica Nacewa try and two Johnny Sexton penalties saw Leinster take an 11-7 lead into the interval, but it could have been more.  In the opening 40 Leinster were far more clinical about their business, Munster’s defence on overdrive in keeping the hosts at bay.  Also, Erasmus’ men were very much left off the hook when Gary Ringrose failed to gather a grubber just over the tryline.  In contrast, Munster failed to gather momentum and were turned over all too easily, save for Peter O’Mahony’s try off an excellent maul.
 
There was the sense that Leinster could cut loose in this highly anticipated interprovincial and that’s exactly what transpired in the second 40.  Munster might count themselves unlucky to have had a James Cronin try disallowed for a double movement, but outside of that, Leinster were well and truly on top, forcing the lion’s share of penalties and taking their match winning chances through Nacewa and Jamison Gibson-Park.
 
It was Leinster who drew first blood when two consecutive penalties brought them within range of the posts.  In the first instance Rory Scannell tackled Johnny Sexton in the air before a Peter O’Mahony infringement at the subsequent lineout gave Sexton a shot for three which he landed on five minutes.
 
And there was very nearly more for the Blues just a minute later when excellent work from Sexton, Ringrose and Nacewa down the left wing almost had the latter over in the corner, only for excellent chasing and try saving tackles from Simon Zebo and Ronan O’Mahony.
 
Conceding the lineout however, Munster still had to defend over ten phases of relentless pressure on the line before conceding another penalty which Sexton slotted with just under 10 minutes played.
 
Getting little change out of the Leinster defence, a lack of control early on saw Munster struggle before eventually getting a foothold in the game on 24 minutes.  Keeping it tight off a lineout, there would be no stopping the men in red as they worked up a head of steam – back and forwards both joining in – and mauled their way over the line with O’Mahony touching down on 26 minutes.
 
Bleyendaal added the conversion and Munster led 6-7.
 
One could never take their eyes off of Sexton and Ringrose and soon after Munster’s blushes were again spared when Ringrose, chasing an excellent grubber from Sexton, spilled the ball forward with the tryline at his mercy.
 
Under massive pressure in the resultant scrum, Munster would be turned over as they attempted to run from their own 22 and would eventually concede their first try of the game when Leinster executed a three-on-two down the blindside at scrum time – Nacewa touching down on 36 minutes. 
 
With Sexton pushing the conversion to the right, Leinster led by four at the interval – 11-7.
 
On the resumption Munster opened with a 21 phase attack. However for all that possession there was little penetration, the visitors at times all too static and needing an injection of purpose and pace.  That came in the next sustained attack with Darren Sweetnam and Donnacha Ryan, to name a couple, each taking the ball at pace and made good yards towards the tryline.  Replacement James Cronin did manage to ground the ball but the TMO adjudged it was a double movement and the chance went a begging.
 
Compounding Munster’s missed chances was the precision of Leinster when opportunities came their way.  Keen to make amends for his missed try in the opening half, Ringrose caused Munster all sorts of problems as the game approached the final quarter and it was his break that set up the Blues’ second try.  Stepping inside Munster’s defence and charging towards the tryline, Ringrose left his teammates with a simple right-to-left for Nacewa’s second try and Sexton bisected the posts with the conversion.
 
Things got worse for Munster when Ronan O’Mahony and Bleyendaal failed to gather a Robbie Henshaw kick for space, the Munster duo at sixes and sevens with the bounce of the ball on the tryline.  Gibson-Park was the quickest to react in touching down for Leinster’s third with Sexton’s conversion putting the game beyond Munster.
 
Munster replacement Jaco Taute did touch down after the men in red worked the ball nicely off a 5 metre scrum in the dying minutes and while it might have put a bit more respectability on the scoreboard, it was scant consolation for Erasmus’ men who can have little complaint with the result.  Munster will look for a big improvement as they open their Champions Cup campaign away to Racing 92 next Sunday at 3.15pm (Irish time).
 
Full time score: Leinster 25-14 Munster

Guinness PRO12 round 6 roundup: The loss provisionally sees Munster slip to 4th on the Guinness PRO12 table, three points adrift of table toppers Ulster.

Squad captain and recent long term injury returnee Peter O’Mahony made his first Munster start since May of last year.
 
Appearing from the bench, Robin Copeland featured in the PRO12 for the first time this season while South African international Jaco Taute scored his first Munster try.
  
Munster XV: Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Keith Earls (56 Taute), Rory Scannell (Keatley 70), Ronan O'Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne (Cronin 45), Niall Scannell (Casey 75), John Ryan (Archer 63); Donnacha Ryan (Copeland 68), Billy Holland; Peter O'Mahony – capt. (O’Donoghue 40), Tommy O'Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Robin Copeland, Jack O'Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Jaco Taute.

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