Connacht Eagles 19-22 Munster A

The Connacht Eagles were narrowly defeated by their Munster counterparts in a keenly contested interprovincial clash at the Sportsground today.

Tries from Conor Oliver, Diarmuid Kilgannen and Jack Aungier saw the hosts establish a lead with a quarter of the game remaining, but a late Diarmuid Barron try saw the visitors claim the win in the first professional game to take place outside of Dublin in six months.

There was no signs of rust from either side — despite the lack of game time — in the early proceedings and it was Connacht who struck first blood in the glorious Galway sunshine.

Captain Oliver, against his former club, was the beneficiary of a move started by Jonny Murphy. The hooker made big head way into Munster territory with a hard carry and, after a few phases, Kilgannen spun the ball to the openside to dive over.

The conversion was wide, but the hosts were worthy of their lead.

Munster weren’t long in responding, however, and fly-half Ben Healy ran in for a brilliant solo try which he converted himself to give the visitors a 7-5 lead.

With the winds in their sails, the Southerners extended their lead further when Barron — the former Irish U20’s hooker — picked from the base of a powerful rolling maul to touch down. Healy converted with aplomb to stretch Munster’s lead even further to 14-5.

The first half was proving to be a try laden affair and it was Connacht’s turn to next cross the white wash. Quick thinking from scrum-half Stephen Kerins’ saw the Sligoman run a penalty and establish the Eagles field position deep in Munster territory.

After phases of pressure, the ball was recycled wide to lock Niall Murray and the Roscommon native’s pass found Kilgannen and the winger touched down tight to the left hand touchline. Despite the narrow angle, Conor Dean slotted a brilliant conversion.

Munster would add the final score of a fiercely competitive half with Healy’s penalty taking the half time score to 17-12 to the visitors.

There was no let up in intensity in the second half, even with a raft of changes from both teams.

Aungier, who replaced Conor Kenny at tight-head, made an instant impact when he picked the ball off the back of a surging rolling maul and dove over from close range. Dean once again made no mistake with the conversion and the Eagles established a deserved 19-17 lead.

Munster continued to probe in search of a win and they eventually broke Connacht’s resolve — which had stoutly denied the visitors — with Barron completing his brace with a powerful burst from close range seeing him burrow over the line.

The conversion drifted wide, but Munster held on to seal the victory.

The Eagles will be disappointed to lose but there are ample positives for the players and the coaching staff to take into the season.

Connacht Eagles team:
John Porch; Colm de Buitlear, Sam Arnold, Tom Daly Diarmuid Kilgannen; Conor Dean, Stephen Kerins.

(8-1) Sean Masterson, Conor Oliver(C), Oisin McCormack; Niall Murray, Cian Prendergast; Conor Kenny, Jonny Murphy, Jordan Duggan

16. Dylan Tierney-Martin
17. Matthew Burke
18. Jack Aungier
19. Darragh Murray
20. Joshua Dunne
21. Colm Reilly
22. Cathal Forde
23. Shane Jennings
24. Oran McNulty
25. Peter Sullivan


Live Stream of Connacht Eagles vs Munster ‘A’ from The Sportsground.
Saturday 19th September – K/O 2pm

First Half


Second Half

The Connacht management have named their team for tomorrow’s ‘behind closed doors’ clash against Munster A at The Sportsground (k/o 2pm). 

The side, captained by flanker Conor Oliver, features a nice blend of talent from the Connacht Academy with members of the Pro team.


15. John Porch
14. Colm de Buitléar
13. Sam Arnold
12. Tom Daly
11. Diarmuid Kilgannen
10. Conor Dean
9. Stephen Kerins

1. Jordan Duggan
2. Jonny Murphy
3. Conor Kenny
4. Cian Prendergast
5. Niall Murray
6. Oisin McCormack
7. Conor Oliver (C)
8. Sean Masterson

16. Dylan Tierney-Martin
17. Matthew Burke
18. Jack Aungier
19. Darragh Murray
20. Joshua Dunne
21. Colm Reilly
22. Cathal Forde
23. Shane Jennings
24. Oran McNulty
25. Peter Sullivan

The Connacht Eagles management have named their squad to face Ospreys A in their Celtic Cup round 3 clash this evening at Dubarry Park, Athlone.

Shane Delahunt and Conán O’Donnell are named alongside Conor Carey in a new look front row, while James Cannon joins Joe Maksymiw in the second row. Peter Claffey, who started the game against Dragons A as a lock, moves to the flanks where he completes the pack with Cian Huxford and Neal Moylett.

The half-back partnership is unchanged with Conor McKeon playing alongside Conor Fitzgerald. The two other changes come on the wings where Conor Hayes and Huge Lane are drafted into the side, while captain Kieran Joyce and Sean O’Brien renew their centre partnership. Darragh Leader completes the line-up at full-back.

Kick-off at Dubarry Park is at 7pm.



(15-9) Darragh Leader, Hugh Lane, Sean O’Brien, Kieran Joyce, Conor Hayes, Conor Fitzgerald, Conor McKeon. (1-8) Conán O’Donnell, Shane Delahunt, Conor Carey, James Cannon, Joe Maksymiw, Peter Claffey, Cian Huxford, Neal Moylett.

Replacements (16-23): Jonny Murphy, Matthew Burke, Conor Kenny, Niall Murray, Dylan Tierney, James Mitchell, Luke Carty, Oran McNulty.

The Connacht Eagles management team have named their squad for Saturday’s Celtic Cup Round 2 meeting with Dragons in Ystrad Mynach.

Robin Copeland has been named at number 8 as he continues his recovery from injury – he’s joined by Cillian Gallagher and Cian Huxford in the back row.

Peter Claffey and Joe Maksymiw renew their second row partnership, while the front row is also unchanged with Tom McCartney captaining the team alongside props Matthew Burke and Conor Carey.

Conor Fitzgerald is retained at out-half with Conor McKeon named at scrum-half. There’s one other change from the side that lost to Munster last week with Sean O’Brien coming in at centre alongside Kieran Joyce. Wingers Colm De Buitlear and Rory Scholes along with full-back Darragh Leader make up the back three.

Kick-off is at 2.30pm in Wales with updates available on Twitter @ConnachtRugby.



(15-9) Darragh Leader, Rory Scholes, Sean O’Brien, Kieran Joyce, Colm de Buitléar, Conor Fitzgerald, Conor McKeon. (1-8) Matthew Burke, Tom McCartney (c), Conor Carey, Peter Claffey, Joe Maksymiw, Cillian Gallagher, Cian Huxford, Robin Copeland.

Replacements (16-23): Jonny Murphy, Jordan Duggan, Conor Kenny, Cormac Daly, Neal Moylett, James Mitchell, Conor Dean, Conor Hayes.

Winger Rory Scholes and flanker James Connolly have returned from injury and are included in Mossy Lawlor’s Connacht Eagles side to face Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday (Kick Off 3pm). Scholes will join a back three that features Academy players Kieran Joyce on the opposite wing and Matt Byrne at full-back.

Out Half Andrew Deegan and Scrum Half Conor McKeon continue their effective partnership that produced back to back wins over Richmond before Christmas.

Connolly joins a strong back row featuring Sean Masterson at blindside and Paul Boyle who captains the side at number 8. It has been a big week for Academy player Boyle who made his debut for the first team in the interpro against Munster in Thomond Park last Saturday.

The two other Academy players who featured against Munster are also included in the pack. Conan O’Donnell will start at loosehead and Cillian Gallagher is in the second row, having made all his appearances for the senior side in the back row since making his debut in October.


Kick-off 3:00pm:

(15-9) Matt Byrne, Rory Scholes, Stacey Illi, Kieran Joyce, Adam Leavy, Andrew Deegan, Conor McKeon, (1-8) Conan O’Donnell, Dylan Tierney, Conor Kenny, Peter Claffey, Cillian Gallagher, Sean Masterson, James Connolly, Paul Boyle (Capt)

Replacements (16-22): Callum Torpey, Matt Burke, Conor Kyne, Niall Murray, Ryan Feehily, Luke Carty, Michael O’Reilly.

Centre Peter Robb has returned from a leg operation to take his place in the Connacht Eagles starting XV to face Richmond in the B&I Cup. Craig Ronaldson who reintegrated into to full training in the past week is included among the replacements.


The Connacht side includes a mix of youth and experience. In the back row, Academy players Sean Masterson (openside) and Paul Boyle (number 8) and joined by Naulia Dawai at blindside. Mayo native Pat O’Toole starts at hooker where he is flanked by Conan O’Donnell at loose head and Conor Kenny at blind side.


Kick-off 3:00pm:

(15-9) Matt Byrne, Adam Leavy, Kieran Joyce, Peter Robb, Stacey Ili, Andrew Deegan, Conor McKeon,
(1-8) Conan O’Donnell, Pat O’Toole, Conor Kenny, Cian Huxford, Gavin Thornbury, Naulia Dawai, Sean Masterson, Paul Boyle

Replacements (16-23): Callum Torpey, Denis Coulson, Jakub Woitjowicz, Dylan Tierney, Caoilin Blade, Steve Crosbie, Craig Ronaldson.

The fixture details have been announced for the Connacht Eagles fixtures for the forthcoming British & Irish Cup campaign.

Mossy Lawler’s side kick off the competition away to Rotherham on Saturday, October 14, at 2pm in Clifton Lane.

The following Sunday (October 22) an Ealing Trailfinders outfit featuring former Connacht man Shane O’Leary travel to the Sportsground for a 2pm kick-off.

A double-header against Richmond takes place in December with an away trip on Saturday, December 9, and a home clash at the Sportsground on Sunday, December 17.

The Eagles are away to Ealing on Saturday, January 13, before rounding off their Pool 4 fixtures at home to Rotherham on the weekend of Saturday, January 20 (details to be confirmed).

Connacht Eagles B&I Cup Fixtures

Saturday, October 14

Rotherham v Connacht Eagles, Clifton Lane, 2pm;

Sunday, October 22

Connacht Eagles v Ealing Trailfinders, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, December 9

Richmond v Connacht Eagles, Athletic Ground, 3pm;

Sunday, December 17

Connacht Eagles v Richmond, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, January 13

Ealing Trailfinders v Connacht Eagles, Trailfinders Sports Ground, 3pm;

Weekend of Saturday, January 20

Connacht Eagles v Rotherham, The Sportsground, TBC;


The Connacht Eagles will play Cornish Pirates on Saturday (2pm) in their final British & Irish Cup game this season. Head coach Mossy Lawler has named his side for the trip to Cornwall,making eight changes from the starting XV that lined out last week.

Eoghan Masterson makes a welcome return to the field,starting in an all-changed back row with Marc Kelly and James Connolly. This is the first game back for 23-year-old Masterson in almost a year having recovered from a significant knee injury sustained while on PRO12 duty last February.

Also returning from long term injury is Academy prop Jamie Dever who will start in the front row for his first game in 26 months while Ireland U20’s lock Peter Claffey is named on the bench having last played 10 months ago.

There are further changes to the pack with senior hooker Shane Delahunt adding his experience up front while Academy lock Cian Romaine joins captain Danny Qualter in the second row.

Academy duo Stephen Kerins and Ed O’Keeffe are the only changes to a youthful backline.

Eagles’ head coach Mossy Lawler commented ahead of the final pool fixture:

“It’s great to see some players coming back from long-term injury and getting a chance to play before we conclude our B&I campaign.

“Naturally we are not happy with our results in the competition this season but we do see the value in testing our young players in high pressure games and against quality opposition. It’s all part of their development and tomorrow’s game will be another big challenge and learning experience for them. Of course,we will be hoping to put in a winning performance to sign off our B&I Cup season.”

Connacht Eagles team to face Cornish Pirates,Mennaye Field Penzance,Sat January 21st,2pm

(Connacht senior caps and affiliated club in brackets)

15 Matthew Byrne (Galwegians RFC)
14 Ed O’Keeffe (Galwegians RFC)
13 Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians RFC)
12 Kieran Joyce (Malone RFC)
11 Adam Leavy  (Galwegians RFC)
10 Luke Carty (Buccaneers RFC)
9 Stephen Kerins (Corinthians RFC)

1 Jamie Dever (Corinthians RFC)
2 Shane Delahunt (Buccaneers RFC) (23)
3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy (Galwegians RFC) (4)
4 Cian Romaine (Buccaneers RFC)
5 Danny Qualter (Buccaneers RFC) (14) (captain)
6 Marc Kelly (Galwegians RFC)
7 James Connolly (Corinthians RFC) (22)
8 Eoghan Masterson (Corinthians RFC) (34)


16 Jack Dinneen (Galwegians RFC) (2)
17 Saba Meunargia (Buccaneers RFC) (2)
18 Peter Claffey (Galwegians RFC)
19 Rory Moloney (Buccaneers RFC)
20 Conor Lowndes (Galwegians RFC)
21 Morgan Codyre (Galwegians RFC)
22 Joe Murphy (Corinthians RFC)

Cornish Pirates v Connacht Eagles
Saturday January 21st 2017
Mennaye Field Penzance
Kick off 2pm


The Connacht Eagles suffered a 14 – 41 defeat at the hands of a strong London Irish outfit at Dubarry Park today.

Centre Ciaran Gaffney, who made his senior debut in the Guinness PRO12 last month, opened the scoring for the home side just before the break with sub academy outhalf Luke Carty kicking the conversion.

The outhalf wasn’t up to the tee again until the 77th minute when Sean Masterson, younger brother of senior player Eoghan, crossed for the last score of the game.

London Irish, unbeaten this season, now progress to the quarter final of the B&I Cup while the Eagles must travel to Cornwall next weekend in search of their first win in the campaign.

Connacht Eagles: 15 Josh Rowland, 14 Matthew Byrne, 13 Ciaran Gaffney, 12 Kieran Joyce, 11 Adam Leavy, 10 Luke Carty, 9 Conor McKeon, 1 Jack Dinneen, 2 Shane O’Hehir, 3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 4 Cillian Gallagher, 5 Danny Qualter, 6 Rory Moloney, 7 Josh Pim, 8 Marc Kelly

Replacements: 16 Conor Kyne, 17 Saba Meunargia, 18 Cian Romaine, 19 Sean Masterson, 20 Stephen Kerins, 21 Morgan Codyre, 22 Joe Murphy

London Irish: 15 Tom Parton, 14 Matt Williams, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Ross Neal (Johnny Williams, 65), 11 Ben Ransom, 10 Theo Brophy Clews (Jacob Atkins, 60), 9 Scott Steele, 1 Harry Elrington, 2 Todd Gleave, 3 Ollie Hoskins, 4 Jerry Sexton (Will Lloyd, 60), 5 Josh McNally, 6 Joe Trayfoot (Luke Narraway, 65), 7 Conor Gilsenan (c), 8 Senitiki Nayalo

Replacements: 16 Ollie Adams, 17 Austin Hay, 18 Will Lloyd, 19 Luke Narraway, 20 Rory Brand, 21 Johnny Williams, 22 Jacob Atkins


Connacht Academy squad confirmed for 2022/23 season

Hansen & Dowling named in starting XV for Munster interpro

Hansen & Dowling named in starting XV for Munster interpro

9 months ago
PREVIEW: Connacht V Munster

PREVIEW: Connacht V Munster

9 months ago
Important Munster ticket update

Important Munster ticket update

9 months ago