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Mixed Emotions

9th February 2008 By Munster Rugby

Six tries, three in each half and the return of Paul O’Connell were the positives of Munster’s 38-5 victory over Ulster in the A interprovincial at Shaws Bridge yesterday with the obvious negative being the injury to Barry Murphy.

Six tries, three in each half and the return of Paul O’Connell were the positives of Munster’s 38-5 victory over Ulster in the A interprovincial at Shaws Bridge yesterday with the obvious negative being the injury to Barry Murphy.

Murphy damaged a shoulder in an opening half where he looked particularly sharp anytime he was on the ball – his incisive break leading to the opening try from Conan Doyle – and it’s initially believed he will be out of action for four weeks or so.

Munster dominated from the opening whistle against an Ulster A side considerably weakened by the absence of players apparently not released by their clubs because of AIL involvement today. That aside however, a sizeable crowd turned up to watch what was a good contest despite the visitors stranglehold orchestrated chiefly by their forward pack.

Besides O’Connell’s significant presence, Mark Melbourne, Denis Fogarty, Jake Paringatai and skipper James Coughlan helped deliver quality ball to a backline that put together some great passages of play.

They went in front with less than five minutes gone when Doyle made the most of good approach play by Murphy.Then minutes later, after Anthony Horgan and Keith Earls had made inroads on the right, Jeremy Manning’s inch-perfect crossfield kick was gathered by Paringatai to run in under the posts.

Livewire Tomas O’Leary scored try number three after his pack had driven Ulster back but just before the break, on a rare incursion into Munster territory Mark Barker scored in the right hand corner.

In a Munster pack dominated second period played almost entirely in the Ulster half of the field the tries continued, from Coughlan in the 58th minute, Darragh Hurley seven minutes later and finally replacement Tommy O’Donnell.

Munster A: Anthony Horgan; Ian Hanley, Barry Murphy (Tom Gleeson 32 min), Conan Doyle, Keith Earls; Jeremy Manning (Evan Ryan 60 min),Tomas O’Leary (Gerry Hurley 62 min) Darragh Hurley, Denis Fogarty (Sean Cronin 60 min), Eugene McGovern (Tim Ryan 53 min), Mark Melbourne, Paul O’Connell (Billy Holland 60 min), Jake Paringatai, Barry O’Mahony (Tommy O’Donnell 65 min), James Coughlan.

Ulster A: Richard McCarter (Dungannon); Mark Barker (QUB), Seamus Mallon (Ballymena), Ian Whitten (QUB), Paul McKenzie (Belfast Harlequins); Kieran Hallett (Malone), Kieran Campbell (Dungannon); Jarlath Carey (Malone), Matt Miles (Ballynahinch), Adrian Kirkpatrick (Ballymena), Ian Caldwell (Ballymena), Sam McDonald (Malone), Thomas Anderson (Dungannon), Neil McMillan (Ballymena), Chris Henry (Ballymena). Replacements: Glen Sinnamon (Dungannon), Michael Harshaw (Ballymena), Neville Magee (Dungannon), Mark Robinson (QUB), David Drake (Ballymena), Donovan Raw (Ballymena); Dale Black (Dungannon).

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