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Try Fest In Cork

August 26, 2016 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Munster will enter the competitive season off the back of a comprehensive half-century victory over Worcester Warriors. In total they ran in seven tries with James Cronin, Simon Zebo, Darren Sweetnam, Ronan O’Mahony, Ian Keatley and Cian Bohane all crossing the whitewash with the scrum yielding a penalty try.

In this the final game of the Kearys Renault Series, new signing Jean Kleyn and recent academy graduate Alex Wootton won their first Munster caps, academy centre Dan Goggin made his first start while Cronin, Zebo, Rory Scannell, Tyler Bleyendaal, Tommy O’Donnell, Duncan Casey and Tomás O’Leary all lined out for the first time this season.

Also, in welcoming back one of the all-time greats, one of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for Munster’s most capped player Donncha O’Callaghan who travelled with Warriors and faced his native province for the first time, receiving rapturous applause when both entering and exiting the field of play.

Afterwards, Munster players and O’Callaghan took to the field and met with fans to thank them for their wonderful support on the night with ‘Donners’ still proving to be a firm fan favourite.

It was Worcester who mounted the opening attack of the game, varying their lines of running and making ground with each collision. However an excellent tackle from Goggin took the momentum out of the Englishmen’s attack. Despite Goggin knocking on while tackling, good pressure in the scrum disrupted the Worcester ball and ultimately saw Munster win turnover ball a couple of phases later.

On 6 minutes a Byleendaal kick brought Munster deep into the Worcester 22, and when Worcester failed to claim their own lineout, Niall Scannell was the first to pounce. Making good yards, the Munster hooker was held up just short but a couple of recycles later, Cronin crashed over for the opening try of the game. Bleyendaal slotted the extras and Munster were out to a 7-0 lead.

Advantage Munster again just minutes later when Worcester failed to release the tackled player in front of the posts and on 14 minutes, Bleyendaal made sure the hosts were out to a 10-0 lead.

Another penalty presented itself in front of the posts on 21 minutes, this time Munster opting for the scrum, a move that paid dividends. With the upper hand at set piece from the off, Munster forced the penalty with each hit, and by the third reset referee Dan Jones had seen enough, awarding the penalty try on 25 minutes. Bleyendaal made it three from three with the boot and Munster led 17-0.

Huge intensity and physicality from Rassie Erasmus’ men was rewarded with their third try on 31 minutes. Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, O’Donnell and debutant Kleyn all making the hard yards before Zebo touched down. Bleyendaal’s conversion was again inch perfect.

The Munster out-half also acquitted himself beautifully with ball in hand and it was his perfectly weighted kick that set up the try of the half. I a textbook backline try, Zebo collected the kick ahead before a wonderfully executed reverse pass to Rory Scannell. He in turn found his centre partner Goggin and, much like last weekend against Zebre, Sweetnam was in the right place at the right time to finish the move off. Bleyendaal made it a clean sweep from his boot in adding the extras.

Munster continued where they left off upon the resumption and on 54 minutes used both physical prowess and sharpness in attack in crossing for their fifth try. With replacement Keatley kicking to the corner, a strong Munster maul made the initial headway before replacement scrum half O’Leary broke and found O’Mahony on his right – the winger continuing his fine tradition of bagging tries at Irish Independent Park.

A Josh Adams try, converted by replacement out half Ryan Lamb, eventually got Worcester off the mark on 60 minutes, but their reprieve was short lived as Erasmus’ replacements more than made their mark on the game. On his first senior appearance, Wootton’s turnover provided the catalyst for Munster’s sixth try as soon after academy back row Conor Oliver made an excellent break before finding Bohane on his left shoulder and the centre was clean in under the posts for his first Munster try. Keatley made it a full 7 point return.

With bodies tiring, the defence lapsed a little as the game entered the final quarter and Worcester crossed for their second try on 69 minutes through GJ Van VelzeLamb converting – after Munster ran out of defensive numbers on the right. But again, Munster’s reply was more than swift, this time Keatley making an excellent read and intercept and running the length of the field to dot down and convert his own try on 71 minutes

The visitors did have the final say as Perry Humphreys crossed for the last try of the game with Lamb again converting, but that was scant consolation for the Premiership outfit as Munster emerged as comprehensive as deserved winners on a 52-21 scoreline.

Munster XV: Simon Zebo (Fitzgerald 62); Darren Sweetnam, Dan Goggin (O'Shea 50), Rory Scannell (Bohane 62), Ronan O'Mahony (Wootton 62); Tyler Bleyendaal (Keatley 52), Duncan Williams (O'Leary 50); James Cronin (McCabe 62), Niall Scannell (Casey 50), John Ryan (Andress HT, Scott 62); Jean Kleyn (O'Shea 50), Billy Holland – capt. (O'Donoghue 76), Dave O'Callaghan (Copeland 50), Tommy O'Donnell (Oliver 50), Jack O'Donoghue (Foley 50).

Replacements from: Duncan Casey, Peter McCabe, John Andress, Brian Scott, Darren O'Shea, Dave Foley, Conor Oliver, Robin Copeland, Tomás O'Leary, Ian Keatley, Alex Wootton, Cian Bohane, Colm O'Shea, Stephen Fitzgerald.

Tries: James Cronin, Penalty Try, Simon Zebo, Darren Sweetnam, Ronan O’Mahony, Ian Keatley, Cian Bohane.

Conversions: Tyler Bleyendaal (4), Ian Keatley (3).

Penalties: Tyler Bleyendaal 1.

Tries: Josh Adams, GJ Van Velze, Perry Humphreys

Conversions: Ryan Lamb (3)
Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Ronan O'Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland - capt., Dave O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, Jack O'Donoghue.

Replacements from: Duncan Casey, Peter McCabe, John Andress, Brian Scott, Darren O'Shea, Dave Foley, Conor Oliver, Robin Copeland, Tomás O'Leary, Ian Keatley, Alex Wootton, Cian Bohane, Colm O'Shea, Stephen Fitzgerald.
Jackson Willison; Dean Hammond, Wynand Olivier, Max Stelling, Cooper Vuna; Tom Heathcote, Jonny Arr; Val Rapava Ruskin, Niall Annett, James Johnston; Donncha O'Callaghan, Darren Barry; Alafoti Faosiliva, Carl Kirwan, GJ van Velze – capt.

Replacements from: Jaba Bregvadze, Na'ama Leleimalefaga, Mike Daniels, Tevita Cavubati, Phil Dowson, Luke Baldwin, Ryan Lamb, Perry Humphreys, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Marco Mama, Jamie Shillcock, Josh Adams