Saturday 24 March 2018

Mafi stars on comeback

Munster 'A' 30
Ulster Ravens 3

Lifeimi Mafi made a winning return to action as Munster beat Ulster in an 'A' in Nenagh, but the result was overshadowed by a horrific injury to Belfast Harlequins prop Adam Macklin.

The front-rower suffered a fracture and dislocation to his ankle early on in the first half and was removed to Limerick hospital.

"Our thoughts are with Adam," said Munster coach, Anthony Foley. "It's devastating to see something like that happen on the pitch and we wish him all the best with his recovery."

Ulster were reasonably comfortable up to Macklin's injury and enjoyed initial success in the scrums. But without their anchorman, they fell away as the half progressed and conceded two tries before half-time.

Stephen Archer scored the first after a clever break by Connor Murray, before Simon Zebo touched down for Munster's second.

Scott Deasy converted both tries and added two penalties to leave the home side well ahead at the break.

Mafi -- who looked sharp and industrious throughout his 80 minutes -- crossed over for his try immediately after the restart, before substitute prop Dave Kilcoyne rounded off the scoring late in the second half.

Munster 'A' -- S Scanlon; D Hurley, I Dineen (E Maloney 62), L Mafi, S Zebo (R O'Mahony 47); S Deasy, C Murray (D Williams 50); D Ryan (D Kilcoyne 55), S Henry (G Burke 62), S Archer (D Hurley 55); D Foley, I Nagle (B Hayes 67); D O'Callaghan, B O'Hara, P Butler (K Essex 55).

Ulster Ravens -- A D'Arcy; T Seymour (C Gaston 64), N Spence (C Cochrane 62), J Shiels, M McCrea; J McKinney (M Allen 62), M Heaney (J Bloomfield 72); M Cromie (N Annett 37), J Burns, A Macklin (A Whitten 10); C Napier (R Hackney 57), N McComb, TJ Anderson, A Birch (P Pritchard 41), T Patton.

Irish Independent

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