Thursday 19 April 2018

U-18 girls dig deep to clinch interpro glory

Munster's victorious U-18 team who were crowned inter-provincial champions
Munster's victorious U-18 team who were crowned inter-provincial champions

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

The Munster U-18 girls were crowned interprovincial champions last Saturday following a 23-12 victory over Ulster at Barnhall RFC.

It was the girls from the north who got off to a positive start, claiming an unconverted try in the first 10 minutes.

Ciara Clancy narrowed the gap with a penalty though, narrowing Ulster's advantage to 5-3 going into the break.

Munster started the second half with intent and that was rewarded when No 8 Rebecca Hayes touched down under the posts.

Clancy added the extras to give the lead to Munster for the first time at 10-5.

Stephanie Nunan then made an impressive break through the middle of the pitch, passing to Muirne Wall who scored a superb try out wide.

Despite Clancy failing to convert, a high tackle on the 22 resulted in a penalty for Munster giving her the opportunity to make amends and extend Munster's lead to 18-5.

With a great break down the left channel, Hayes crossed for her second try of the day, an unsuccessful conversion attempt leaving the score at 23-5 with 15 minutes to go.

Ulster capitalised during a sin-bin period for Munster by scoring a try in injury time, the conversion being the final score of the game.

Munster U-18 Girls XV (v Leinster): Muirne Wall; Maggie Boylan, Steffi Nunan, Enya Breen, Dorothy Wall; Emily Lane, Ciara Clancy; Andrea Stock, Orla Curtin, Hayley Betts; Sarah Garrett, Clare Bennett; Katylyn Fleming, Mary Hilda Hurley, Rebecca Hayes. Reps: Annie Laffan, Caroline Downey, Sarah O'Connor, Rebecca Reilly, Sarah O'Gorman, Leah Turner, Gemma Lane, Jennifer Fogarty. Travelling reserves: Melanie McKnight, Caoimhe Wall, Kate Gayson Molloy.

Munster U-18 Girls Interpro results: Munster 17 Leinster 14, Connacht 5 Munster 25, Ulster 12 - Munster 23.

History as Women take on Baa-Baas

The Munster women will make history at Thomond Park on Friday, November 10, when they take on the Barbarians, who recently announced the launch of their women's team that will take the field for the first time this season.

England World Cup winner Giselle Mather will coach the team in the first of a number of matches planned for the 2017-18 season.

Managed by Fiona Stockley, the Barbarians will play against club, provincial and international sides with a full schedule to be confirmed later this year.

"We're delighted to open a new chapter in the Barbarian FC's history with the creation of our women's team this season," said Barbarians chairman John Spencer.

"Its formation is something we've been working towards for a number of years and it is a reflection of the excellence of the global women's game which was showcased so brilliantly at this year's Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

"Our aim is to welcome more talented players into this iconic club to forge new friendships and play with the style and passion for which the Barbarians are famous.

"We are working with clubs and unions around the world to make sure it benefits the players and the game."

Barbarians Men will also take on Tonga on the same day (ko 7.30pm) at Thomond Park.

Admission on the day will cover both the Women's and Men's games. Adult tickets from €15 and Family tickets from €40 can be purchased on www.munsterrugby.ie or from the Munster Rugby Ticket Office in Thomond Park.

Top rate for minis

The Barbarians return to Limerick to complete this year's world tour on November 10 and Munster Rugby are calling upon all clubs to avail of a special rate to bring their U-12 (mini) teams along to this fixture to mark the occasion.

For a reduced rate of €5 per child (to a max of 15) and €7.50 per coach (to a max of two), clubs will get the opportunity to participate in a Mini Blitz on the main Thomond Park pitch before the game, as well as tickets in a reserved section of the West Stand for the game.

The mini blitz will take place from 4.30pm to 6pm.

If you would like to avail of this offer, please contact the Ticketmaster groups number on 01-6486029.

Please note that there are a limited number of places available and these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

In what promises to be a spectacular occasion for all rugby fans, it will see the Barbarians return to Thomond Park for the first time since they beat Ireland 22-21 in the last meeting in the summer of 2015.

It will also be the Baa-baas' first meeting with Tonga - newly-qualified as England's World Cup rivals at Rugby World Cup in 2019 after beating Samoa in this summer's Pacific Nations Cup.

For further details or to purchase tickets, please visit www.munsterrugby.ie

IT group visits UL

Strength and conditioning students from IT Tralee recently paid a visit to the Munster Rugby High Performance Centre at University of Limerick.

The students met with Munster Rugby's Head of Age Grade Strength and Conditioning Feargal O'Callaghan who gave them an insight into player development from age grade through to the Munster professional pathway.

Located adjacent to the University of Limerick Arena, O'Callaghan took the students on a guided tour of the centre and talked them through Munster professional player and academy training set-up, highlighting a typical week for gym work.

The Munster Rugby High Performance Unit, which opened in September 2016, also includes medical and physiotherapy treatment rooms, offices, changing rooms, analysis suite, meeting rooms and a 65-seat auditorium.

Irish Independent

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