Munster Edge Past Ulster In Hard-Fought Inter-Pro Battle At Thomond Park
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Munster continued their excellent start to the domestic season with a hard-fought win over provincial rivals Ulster in Thomond Park this evening.
The hosts went down 3-0 to an early John Cooney penalty given away by James Cronin but Munster got themselves in front with an excellent CJ Stander try after just 12 mins.
The Ireland international crashed over after some great work in defence saw Munster bust fullback Matt Faddess into touch behind the goal line. But Ulster kept things tight with another penalty six minutes later to make it 7-6.
Outhalf JJ Hanrahan stretched Munster’s lead to 4 points with a penalty in the 24th minute to make it 10-6, but he was forced off just 5 minutes later following a borderline late hit by Matt Faddes after some lovely link-up play with man of the match Rory Scannell.
Scannell got Munster’s second try after 35 minutes but Hanrahan’s replacement Tyler Bleyendaal failed to convert making it 15-6 at half-time.
Nine minutes after the break Ulster were back in it thanks to a try from captain Rob Herring who found himself in acres of space before crashing over. Cooney converted to make it 15-13 before the scrumhalf added another penalty 8 minutes later to give Ulster a 16-15 lead.
But Munster were never going to let Ulster leave Limerick with a win and a moment of sheer brilliance from Andrew Conway resulted in the southern province’s third try making it 22-16. New Ireland head coach Andy Farrell was in attendance this evening and will no doubt have noted Conway’s performance.
Bleyendall missed a fairly straightforward penalty but it didn’t matter in the end. An excellent win for Munster with their international contingent back firing after a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign.
An excellent run out ahead of the opening Champions Cup pool game away to Ospreys next week but still a bit of work to be done.