Tuesday 20 March 2018

Falvey's champs the team to beat

Aine Staunton in action for the Munster Women’s team
Aine Staunton in action for the Munster Women’s team

The Munster Women's team, sponsored by Keane's jewellers, are in action tomorrow as they host Connacht in an Inter-provincial clash at Irish Independent Park (2.30).

A 16-3 away win over Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium gave Munster the perfect start to their Interpro title defence last week. Leah Lyons and Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird touched down for the champions with Ellen Murphy and Edel Murphy kicking a penalty each in a hard-fought win.

Connacht will also go into the game full of confidence, and their 8-5 victory over Leinster in Tuam last week perfectly sets up tomorrow's clash in Cork.

Head coach Wayne Falvey is in his third season at the helm of the Munster Women's team and has led the side to two Interprovincial titles, and is determined to add more silverware.

Another win today will put his side into the driving seat ahead of next week's trip to Leinster so, even at this early stage, the stakes couldn't be higher.

"The team are hugely looking forward to playing in Irish Independent Park," says Falvey. "The last three years with our home game we have been down in Tralee and up in Thomond Park but it's the first game for us in Cork.

"Connacht had a great result in Leinster so it just makes the game this weekend all the more important. We just really need to make sure that we are clinical and just build on our own performance in Ulster the last day, but it should be a cracker.

"Everything in terms of the timing of the game was based around ourselves and what suited us as a team. Because there is not much time between games, it was important for us to play all three games on a Saturday and optimise recovery.

"It was fantastic to win in Ulster last week. Any win on the road is great and especially for the first game to get us started and we are looking forward to Connacht."

Munster - Edel Murphy; Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, Niamh Kavanagh, Nicola Scully, Eimear Considine; Valerie Power, Ellen Murphy; Fiona Hayes, Gill Bourke, Leah Lyons; Chloe Pearse, Heather O'Brien; Anna Caplice, Siobhán Fleming (C), Orlaith Buckley.

Replacements: Zoe Grattage, Fiona Reidy, Nuala O'Connor, Ciara Griffin, Christine Arthurs, Mona Fehily, Áine Staunton, Laura Sheehan.

Charity challenge

Rugby is set to make an appearance at Markets Field for the first time in 58 years when Young Munster play a Munster President's Selection in the Sporting Limerick Rugby Charity Night next Thursday (7.30).

Welcoming the event, North Munster rugby chairman Ger Malone said that it was "timely and fitting" that the game would return to the venue.

A bumper crowd is expected for this historic night which will benefit variety of local charities, including one designated by the family of the late Anthony Foley.

Coaches and players clubs for the Munster President's Selection will be drawn from a wide circle of clubs across the province.

Irish Independent

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