Saturday 1 October 2016

Key fixtures loom for B&I Cup team

Daragh Small

Published 08/01/2016 | 02:30

Anthony Foley's (p) team had a slow start to the season, but have regained momentum
Photo:INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Anthony Foley's (p) team had a slow start to the season, but have regained momentum Photo:INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Elite player development officer Colm McMahon is excited about Munster A can do in 2016 as they lie second in Group 3 of the B&I Cup.

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They travel to take on table-toppers Yorkshire Carnegie on January 17 as they look to build on three wins from their opening four matches in the group.

"The brand of rugby has improved with every game and the academy lads are gelling well with senior players," said McMahon.

"The fact that Munster A are in contention for qualification is another type of pressure and good experience.

"Many of them are used to these pressures from the AIL but not at this level. Every game from here on in is key so our guys will need to perform."

Munster A had a slow start to their campaign when they were edged out 27-25 against London Scottish, but they eased their way back into contention with an impressive 14-9 win at home to Yorkshire Carnegie.

They hammered Ospreys Select 28-8 in Rosbrien, and just before Christmas Mick O'Driscoll's men registered their third victory, a massive 46-26 win at Brewery Field against the Welsh.

"We had very good wins over Ospreys Premiership Select home and away in recent weeks and a lot of academy guys were given the chance to impress at that level," said McMahon.

"The likes of Liam O'Connor, Sean McCarthy, Stephen Fitzgerald, Conor Oliver, David Johnston, Bill Johnston, Rory Burke and Ben Kilkenny in particular have received good exposure in the B&I Cup campaign so far."

Irish Independent

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