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O’Donnell To Lead Munster Against London Irish

August 16, 2018 12:45 pm By The Editor

Tommy O'Donnell captains Munster against London Irish tomorrow night.

Tommy O'Donnell captains Munster against London Irish tomorrow night.

Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan has named an extended 30-man squad for tomorrow’s clash against London Irish at Irish Independent Park in the Kearys Renault Series 2018 (7.30pm).

Ireland international Tommy O’Donnell will captain Munster for the first time since leading the province to a win over the Maori All Blacks in November 2016.

Stephen Fitzgerald starts at full-back with Calvin Nash and Darren Sweetnam on the flanks.

Rory Scannell and Dan Goggin team up in the centres with James Hart and JJ Hanrahan providing the half-back pairing.

Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne and Brian Scott make up the front row with Fineen Wycherley and Darren O’Shea in the engine room.

Dave O’Callaghan, O’Donnell and Greencore Munster Rugby Academy player Gavin Coombes form the back row.

Tipperary prop Cronan Gleeson, who has trained with the squad during pre-season, is among the front row replacements alongside Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry and Ciaran Parker.

Billy Holland, Jean Kleyn and Academy players Sean O’Connor and Jack Daly complete the forward cover.

New signings Neil Cronin and Mike Haley are among the backline replacements along with Ian Keatley and Academy trio Jack Stafford, Alex McHenry and Liam Coombes.

Cronan Gleeson, Jack Daly, Alex McHenry, Liam Coombes and Mike Haley are set to make their first senior appearances for Munster in the clash.

The game will see Munster play on the new modified 3G pitch at Irish Independent Park for the first time with the surface installed by Tralee-based company PST Sport over the summer.

The bedding-in process of the new pitch is now underway with two games to be played at the venue in the Kearys Renault Series 2018 over the next eight days.

Read our match preview here.

Munster: Stephen Fitzgerald; Calvin Nash, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, James Hart; Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne, Brian Scott; Fineen Wycherley, Darren O’Shea; Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell (C), Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Cronan Gleeson, Dave Kilcoyne, Ciaran Parker, Billy Holland, Jean Kleyn, Sean O’Connor, Jack Daly, Neil Cronin, Jack Stafford, Ian Keatley, Shane Daly, Alex McHenry, Liam Coombes, Mike Haley.

2018 Kearys Renault Series Fixtures

Friday, August 17

Munster v London Irish, Irish Independent Park, 7.30pm;

Friday, August 24

Munster v Exeter Chiefs, Irish Independent Park, 7.30pm;

Tickets

Buy tickets online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 061 421103.

2 Match Packs

Adult: €25 (admission to both games)

Junior: €8 (admission to both games)

Family – 2 adults and 2 juniors: €50 (admission to both games)

Individual Game Tickets

Adult: €15

Junior: €5

Family – 2 adults and 2 juniors: €30

The new pitch at Irish Independent Park is currently bedding in.

The new pitch at Irish Independent Park is currently bedding in.

Munster - Match Page - Lineups - Preview

Munster Edge Past London Irish In Cork

August 17, 2018 10:01 pm By The Editor

Darren Sweetnam scoring Munster's first try against London Irish.

Darren Sweetnam scoring Munster's first try against London Irish.

Tries from Darren Sweetnam, Brian Scott, Dan Goggin and Mike Sherry (two) saw Munster claim a 32-28 win over London Irish in the first game on the new modified 3G surface at Irish Independent Park in the Kearys Renault Series 2018.

JJ Hanrahan kicked a conversion and a drop-goal with Ian Keatley also adding a conversion. The full 30-man squad played their part with Cronan Gleeson, Jack Daly, Alex McHenry, Liam Coombes and Mike Haley all making their first senior appearances for Munster.

The game saw Munster play on the new modified 3G pitch at Irish Independent Park for the first time with the surface installed by Tralee-based company PST Sport over the summer.

Next up for Munster is Exeter Chiefs at Irish Independent Park next Friday at 7.30pm, tickets are available here.

Munster dominated the opening 10 minutes but Irish defended well before hitting Munster with a suckerpunch. Centre Matt Williams hacked a loose ball into the Munster 22 before showing impressive speed to race clear and score. Greig Tonks added the extras.

Munster responded excellently and scored in similar fashion moment later. Goggin kicked a loose London Irish pass clear and Sweetnam picked up the mantle with the winger showing his footballing skills to kick well into the 22 and control the bouncing ball to score in the left corner.

With JJ Hanrahan receiving treatment, James Hart assumed the kicking duties but couldn’t land the tough conversion.

Munster were ahead on 19 minutes with Sweetnam and Stephen Fitzgerald setting up good field position after a break up the right wing with Scott pouncing to score an opportunistic try at the base of the London Irish ruck.

Hanrahan saw his conversion drift just wide but made no mistake with a drop-goal on 29 minutes to move Munster 13-7 ahead. The score came after a thrilling move as Hanrahan’s crossfield kick found Sweetnam with offloads from the winger and full-back Fitzgerald nearly carving open Irish but the Exiles were strong in defence.

Now firmly in the ascendancy, Munster were in for their third try on 34 minutes as Goggin powered over in the left corner with Hanrahan’s excellent conversion making it 20-7.

London Irish hit back with a Will Hoskins try off a rolling maul on the stroke of half-time but Munster led 20-14 at the interval.

Munster made a raft of changes at half-time and lost some of their fluency as a result but Sherry crossed from a lineout maul after another dominant spell with Keatley’s conversion giving Munster a 27-14 lead.

A fifth try in the final five minutes was no more than Munster deserved after another rolling maul with Sherry credited with the score. Well-taken late scores from Topsy Ojo and Scot Steele in each corner saw London Irish end the night on a high but the win was Munster’s.

Kearys Renault Series 2018 Round-Up

  • Cronan Gleeson, Jack Daly, Alex McHenry, Liam Coombes and Mike Haley made their first senior appearances for Munster in the clash.
  • Seven Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players featured in the win – Sean O’Connor, Liam Coombes, Gavin Coombes, Alex McHenry, Jack Stafford, Shane Daly and Jack Daly.

Kearys Renault Series 2018

Friday, August 24

Munster v Exeter Chiefs, Irish Independent Park, 7.30pm;

Tickets

Buy tickets online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 061 421103.

Individual Game Tickets

Adult: €15

Junior: €5

Family – 2 adults and 2 juniors: €30

Munster: Stephen Fitzgerald (Mike Haley, h-t); Calvin Nash (Liam Coombes, h-t), Dan Goggin (Alex McHenry, 72), Rory Scannell (Shane Daly, h-t – 72), Darren Sweetnam (Calvin Nash, 60); JJ Hanrahan (Ian Keatley, 45), James Hart (Jack Stafford, 45) (Neil Cronin, 65); Jeremy Loughman (Cronan Gleeson, 31) (Dave Kilcoyne, 51), Kevin O’Byrne (Mike Sherry, h-t), Brian Scott (Ciaran Parker, 31-65); Fineen Wycherley (Billy Holland, h-t), Darren O’Shea (Jean Kleyn, h-t); Dave O’Callaghan (Sean O’Connor, h-t) (Fineen Wycherley, 67), Tommy O’Donnell (C) (Jack Daly, 51), Gavin Coombes (Tommy O’Donnell, 67).

Video | Darren Sweetnam and Gavin Coombes Interview

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