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Munster Suffer Defeat To London Irish

August 24, 2012 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

London Irish reclaimed the Jack Wakefield Memorial Trophy tonight defeating Munster 34-10 in Musgrave Park.

Munster endured a very difficult evening in Musgrave Park as they were convincingly beaten by a ruthless London Irish side guided by ex-Munster scrum-half Tomás O’Leary.

Munster travel to Edinburgh for their opening PRO12 fixture next Saturday and they will need to improve considerably if they want to get any points against last season’s Heineken Cup semi-finalists.

There was a minutes silence before the match in honour of former Munster Branch Past President Gerald Reidy who passed away last Sunday.

Munster started well with Casey Laulala heavily involved but it was London Irish left-winger Sailosi Tagicakibau who came closest to breaking the deadlock when he chipped through but the home crowd, and the stadium announcer, were relieved when he was unable to collect.

London Irish outhalf Steven Shingler did break the deadlock after 18 minutes when he kicked the first penalty from midway inside the Munster half after hands in the ruck.

Topsy Ojo scored the first try in the 24th minute after a superb backline move off a rolling maul. Tom Homer provided the assist after he appeared to go for the corner before popping the ball inside for Ojo to score under the posts. Shingler added the conversion to increase the lead to 10.

Munster were threatening but failing to show a killer instinct and Shingler added another penalty from wide on the left in the 33rd minute for a 13 point lead.

Ian Keatley finally got Munster on the scoreboard at the end of the half with a penalty from the left to reduce the deficit to 10 points at the half.

London Irish centre Joe Ansbro went down early in the second half with a possible neck injury and the game was delayed for over ten minutes before he was stretchered off to a warm applause from the home crowd.

Three cheap penalties in the first ten minutes of the half were punished by Shingler and gave Irish a 22-3 lead after 53 minutes.

More loose defence from Munster led to Shingler adding a second try just before the hour and the out-half converted to stretch the lead to 26.

The visitors were ruthless in punishing Munster mistakes and with five minutes left they did so to devastating effect when James Coughlan was isolated out wide and Shingler stole the loose ball and popped to winger Marland Yarde who raced 60 yards to touch down in the corner.

Munster kept going until the end and were rewarded with their only try of the night in the final minute through Sean Henry.

Scott Deasy kicked the difficult conversion but the late try will be no consolation to Rob Penney who will have to pick up his team ahead of next week’s trip to Scotland.

Final score: 10-34

Munster: D Hurley; D Howlett capt, C Laulala, J Downey, J Murphy; I Keatley, D Williams; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; D Foley, B Holland; T O'Donnell, S Dougall, J Coughlan. Replacements: S Henry, M Horan, S Archer, P Donnellan, P Butler, P Stringer, I Dineen, S Deasy, S Scanlon.

London Irish: Tom Homer; Topsy Ojo, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Ansbro, Sailosi Tagicakibau; Steven Shingler, Tomás O’Leary; Max Lahiff, Scott Lawson, Leo Halavatau; George Skivington, Bryn Evans; Jamie Gibson, Ofisa Treviranus, Jon Fisher. Replacements: Shaun Malton, Halani Aulika, James Sandford, Gerard Ellis, Alex Gray, Darren Allinson, Conor Gaston, Michael Ward, Foster Horan, Marland Yard, Darren Allison.

Referee: David Wilkinson

I Keatley 1 Penalty

S Henry 1 Try

S Deasy 1 Conversion

S Shingler 1 Try; 5 Penalties; 2 Conversions

T Ojo 1 Try

M Yard 1 Try

D Hurley; D Howlett capt, C Laulala, J Downey, J Murphy; I Keatley, D Williams; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; D Foley, B Holland; T O'Donnell, S Dougall, J Coughlan.  Replacements: S Henry, M Horan, S Archer, P Donnellan, P Butler, P Stringer, I Dineen, S Deasy, S Scanlon.
 
Tom Homer; Topsy Ojo, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Ansbro, Sailosi Tagicakibau; Steven Shingler, Tomás O’Leary; Max Lahiff, Scott Lawson, Leo Halavatau; George Skivington, Bryn Evans; Jamie Gibson, Ofisa Treviranus, Jon Fisher. Replacements: Shaun Malton, Halani Aulika, James Sandford, Gerard Ellis, Alex Gray, Darren Allinson, Conor Gaston, Michael Ward, Foster Horan, Marland Yard, Darren Allison.

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