A Kieran Marmion try in the final few minutes secured a losing bonus point for Connacht in Friday night’s BKT URC interpro at Thomond Park.
Connacht enjoyed the better spell of possession and territory in the opening 10, and they were rewarded with a penalty on the Munster 22 which Carty took full advantage of to open the scoring.
However the good work was undone in a sloppy restart, with a kick charged down and resulting knock-on forcing a scrum 10 metres from the Connacht line, and Munster went down the short-side for the opening try of the game.
Connacht’s opening try began with an excellent break from Tom Farrell deep inside his own half, bringing the side well into Munster territory. Against a tiring defence Caolin Blade opted for a kick to the corner, and as the hosts passed along their tryline Byron Ralston produced a moment of magic to grab the intercept and score his first try in Connacht colours.
Connacht’s lead was to be short-lived, as Munster got the maul going for their second try of the game in the far corner. Joey Carbery’s tough conversion was missed, leaving the teams tied at the interval.
Both sides couldn’t be separated in the opening moments of the second half, but the decisive moment came on 48 minutes when John Porch was shown a yellow card for obstruction when Carbey had kicked into the Connacht tryline. While the visitors battled valiantly to keep Munster scoreless during that period, Munster’s breakthrough eventually came through John Ryan to make it 17-10.
Munster’s effective maul then allowed them to stretch their lead to 14 points and it looked like Connacht would be leaving with nothing to show for it. However Andy Friend’s side dug deep in the final quarter to secure the losing bonus point, with Kieran Marmion the player to touch down after good work from the forwards.