Sport Rugby

Monday 27 March 2017

In brief: Free-flowing Munster too strong for Esher

Munster 64 Esher 9 British and Irish Cup

Munster turned in a try fest as they swept to a massive victory at Dooradoyle last night.

The home side had the game won before most of the spectators arrived -- the kick-off was brought forward by 15 minutes because of frost -- and they ahead by 43-9 at the interval.

They scored six tries in the first half, courtesy of Danny Barnes, Ivan Dineen, Stephen Archer, Tommy O'Donnell, Dave Kilcoyne and Sean Scanlon.

Lock Ian Nagle enhanced his growing reputation with a superb all-round performance before being withdrawn eight minutes into the second half, with the try fest continuing as Simon Zebo, Troy Smith and Conor Murray added further touchdowns.

Munster -- S Scanlon; D Barnes, I Dineen, (C Hircock 62), T Smith, S Zebo; D Cusack, JJ Hanrahan 71), D Williams, (C Murray 48); D Kilcoyne, S Henry, S Archer (P Borlaise 56); I Nagle, (Dave O'Callaghan, 48), D Foley; B Holland, T O'Donnell, P Butler.

ESHER -- G Mullen; T Loizides, P MacKenzie, J Brown, R Fowles; R Kirby, N Losardo; T Tunnicliff, A Fedorciow, D O'Reilly; J Doherty, J Inglis; J Waterhouse, A Bone, S Gaynor.

REF -- J Matthew, Scotland.

London Welsh v Ulster 'a'

Old Deer Park, today, 2.0

Ulster's young guns will look to bounce back from last weekend's home defeat to Neath with a trip to London Welsh this afternoon.

Niall O'Connor appears to have been exiled since his move to Connacht was announced and he starts the match on the bench behind promising Dungannon out-half Paddy Jackson. The youngster has the guile of Luke Marshall beside him at inside-centre, while in Craig Gilroy, Tommy Seymour and Jamie Smith, Gary Longwell has a back three to frighten any opponent.

Up front, Rory Best's injury sees the hookers move up a place and the impressive Niall Annett gets a chance to show his talents. Ryan Caldwell will lend his experience from second-row, in a pack that looks youthful.

London Welsh have yet to win in the competition, while two defeats leave Ulster in a perilous position should they lose.

Scotland international Gordon Ross can hurt the Ravens and the English-based Welshmen look better set for victory.

Verdict: London Welsh.

Ulster Ravens -- J Smith; T Seymour, M Allen, L Marshall, C Gilroy; P Jackson, M Heaney; C Carey, N Annett, A Whitten; R Caldwell, I Henderson; S Lavella, D McGuigan, N McComb. Reps: J Burns, K McCall, R Hackney, P Pritchard, B McIlroy, N O'Connor, J Shiels.

Leinster 'A' v Currie

Donnybrook, tomorrow, 2.0

A year ago, Kevin McLaughlin was on the cusp of an Ireland debut against Italy and riding the crest of a wave.

But a knee injury and the emergence of Rhys Ruddock and Dominic Ryan for the No 6 jersey at Leinster mean the back-row is rebuilding the case for his selection tomorrow at Donnybrook.

Thus, McLaughlin packs down for the 'A' side alongside the highly rated Jordi Murphy and Old Belvedere's bustling New Zealander Leo Auva'a.

Andrew Conway joins his old school-mate Brendan Macken in an exciting backline, with Eoin O'Malley set to feature at centre, despite being ill earlier in the week.

Currie have yet to win either of their matches in the competition this season and are currently fifth in the Scottish Premiership. Leinster should have enough in their ranks to continue their impressive record in the tournament.

Verdict: Leinster.

LEINSTER -- N Morris; A Conway, B Macken, E O'Malley, D Kearney; I McKinley, P O'Donohoe; J McGrath, A Dundon, S Shawe, E Sheriff, M Galarza, K McLaughlin, J Murphy, L Auva'a. Reps: T Sexton, S Maguire, E O'Donoghue, C Ruddock, J Cooney, I Madigan, M Keating.

Irish Independent

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