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Munster Held Scoreless In Musgrave Park

August 20, 2011 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

The fact that Munster were held scoreless at Musgrave Park in Friday’s clash with London Wasps should be viewed in the light that they turned down several kickable penalties, opting instead to go for lineouts.

And, with a kinder bounce in first half added time, they would have gone in leading by four rather than trailing by three. At that stage, again having escewed the opportunity to draw themselves level when awarded yet another penalty, Declan Cusack floted a delicate chip over the Wasps defenders only for a wicked bounce to deny Lifeimi Mafi.

Earlier than that, just after Ryan Davis had landed his 14th minute penalty, Munster were denied a try when Peter Stringer's cross-field kick skipped out of play inches ahead of the flying Doug Howlett.

Munster had plenty of possession and territorial advantage in an opening half that saw BJ Botha limp of (calf injury) after just 28 minutes but came up against a resolute Wasps defence ably led by James Cannon, Chris Mayor and skipper John Hart.

They posed plenty of attacking threat in the considerable shape of Billy Vunipola after he arrived in the 20th minuteand out wide with Christian Wade, Jack Wallace and Tom Varndell. It was Varndell who scored what was to be the decisive score in the 62nd minute wide on the right that replacement Nick Robinson converted. By then, Wasps had their rear-guard well organised and for the third quarter Munster incursions into the visitor's half were rare.

Then as the game reached the end, Wasps were awarded a penalty at the Dolphin end, went for the corner and worked replacement Matt Everard over for their second try.

Afterwards coach Tony McGahan admitted that after one or two opportunities in the first half that, "to my recollection we didn't have a phase over the 40 metre in the second half. So there lies the game."

"However it's all part of the process of pre-season. We've got a lot of young entusiastic guys with a lot of energy out there. You need execution, you need skill to get results and that something they really learned there tonight. There's no lack of will or effort out there. But you need to execute what you need to and we were off in that regard."

Last week Munster used 26 players in the game in France and again 26 got a run on Friday. Watching the Wasps game from the comfort of the new stand were Conor Murray, Ian Keatley, Damien Varley, Peter Borlase, Mick O'Driscoll and Niall Ronan and next up for McGahan and Munster is London Irish next Friday in Thomond Park, that game preceeded by the A clash against Connacht (4.15pm).

Munster: S Deasy; D Howlett, D Barnes (D Hurley 52 min), L Mafi (S Scanlon 52 min), S Zebo; D Cusack (T Gleeson 52 min), P Stringer (D Williams h-t); W du Preez (M Horan 52 min), M Sherry (D Fogarty 47 min), BJ Botha S Archer 28 min); B Holland (D Foley 47 min), I Nagle; D O'Callaghan (T O'Donnell 52 min), P O'Mahony capt, P Butler (J Coughlan 52 min)(P Butler for Coughlan (60 min).

Wasps: J Wallace; C Wade, C Mayor, C Bell, T Varndell; R Davis, N Berry; J Castex, T Lindsay, S McIntyre; J Cannon, M Wentzel; R Birkett, J Harris, J Hart. Replacements: B Vunipola for Birkett (20 mins), B Broster for McIntyre (31 mins), M Everard for Wentzel, R Haughton for Wallace, C Davis for Berry, N Robinson for Davis (all h-t), N Morris for Lindsay (45 mins), B Baker for Castex (52 mins), A Cheesman for Mayor (62 mins), G Roa for Broster (68 mins).

Referee: D Phillips (IRFU).

No scorers
R Davis 1 Penalty

T Varndell 1 Try

N Robinson 1 Conversion

M Everard 1 Try

S Deasy; D Howlett, D Barnes (D Hurley 52 min), L Mafi (S Scanlon 52 min), S Zebo; D Cusack (T Gleeson 52 min), P Stringer (D Williams h-t); W du Preez (M Horan 52 min), M Sherry (D Fogarty 47 min), BJ Botha S Archer 28 min); B Holland (D Foley 47 min), I Nagle; D O'Callaghan (T O'Donnell 52 min), P O'Mahony capt, P Butler (J Coughlan 52 min)(P Butler for Coughlan (60 min).
J Wallace; C Wade, C Mayor, C Bell, T Varndell; R Davis, N Berry; J Castex, T Lindsay, S McIntyre; J Cannon, M Wentzel; R Birkett, J Harris, J Hart. Replacements: B Vunipola for Birkett (20 mins), B Broster for McIntyre (31 mins), M Everard for Wentzel, R Haughton for Wallace, C Davis for Berry, N Robinson for Davis (all h-t), N Morris for Lindsay (45 mins), B Baker for Castex (52 mins), A Cheesman for Mayor (62 mins), G Roa for Broster (68 mins).

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