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:
(15-9)
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

Replacements:
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.

 

CONNACHT EAGLES V MUNSTER A (SATURDAY 19TH OCTOBER 2020 @ THE SPORTSGROUND, K/O 2PM).
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

Replacements
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

Connacht 14

Munster 19

In a hotly-contested encounter, the boot of JJ Hanrahan was of vital importance to Munster as his kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Jack O’Donoghue scored Munster’s only try while Jack Carty crossed for Connacht in the closing stages but it wasn’t enough.

After a hard-fought opening period, Munster got their first points through a Hanrahan penalty but Connacht closed the gap when Conor Fitzgerald scored one of his own.

With twenty minutes on the clock, after a penalty advantage Hanrahan slotted his second penalty in front of goal.

Munster soon sparked into action and it was O’Donoghue who crossed the try line after a series of pick and goes while Hanrahan added the extras.

Connacht never gave in and added to their tally through Fitzgerald before Hanrahan claimed another three points.

A move just before the break saw Connacht make ground into the Munster 22 and it gave Fitzgerald a chance to reduce the deficit once again, which he duly took.

Hanrahan took his tally to 14 points when he kicked another penalty early in the second half.

Despite Connacht scoring their first try when Carty was released down the blindside with ten minutes remaining, Munster held firm.

So its away interpros next up for against Ulster and Leinster before returning to the Sportsground for Champions Cup action against Toulouse on the 11th of January – Click here for tickets.

CONNACHT: Tiernan O’Halloran; John Porch, Tom Daly, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin; Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham; Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux (capt); Eoghan Masterson, Paul Boyle, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Stephen Fitzgerald for O’Halloran (55 mins), Shane Delahunt for Heffernan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy for Bealham (both 59), Jack Carty for C Fitzgerald (60), Robin Copeland for Masterson (61), Conor Kenny for Buckley (71), Joe Maksymiw for Roux (72), Stephen Kerins for Blade (73).

Ireland international Quinn Roux will Captain Connacht as his side face Munster in the Guinness Pro14 in the Sportsground on Saturday (Kick off 5:15pm). With just one point separating the two sides at the top of Conference B, the top of the table clash takes on extra significance for the second row as he is set to make his 100th appearance for the province.

Connacht also go into the game boosted by the news that Tiernan O’Halloran has returned from injury and will start at full back. He is part of a back three with John Porch and Kyle Godwin on the wings.

In the Connacht midfield, Tom Daly has forced his way into the starting team alongside Bundee Aki. While Conor Fitzgerald continues his half back partnership with Caolin Blade, who has now featured in all 11 of Connacht’s games so far this season.

In the forwards, the tight five has a very familiar look; props Denis Buckley and Finlay are included in the starting team as is hooker Dave Heffernan. While Ultan Dillane will line up alongside Roux in the second row.

In the back row Eoghan Masterson and Paul Boyle are named at blindside and openside respectively with Eoin McKeon at number 8. Captain Jarrad Butler has been ruled out due to illness.

Commenting ahead of the game, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said: “Saturday is another big occasion in the Sportsground. All players want to be involved in these interpro games and with Munster in our conference it takes on extra significance. We take pride in our home record and last season Munster were one of the few teams to beat us in the Sportsground so we know the challenge we will face tomorrow”.

“It will be a proud day for Quinn Roux and his family. Making 100 appearances for Connacht is a great achievement and it is fitting that with Jarrad out, Quinn will captain the side. He has been a real leader for us this season and has been driving standards among the player group”.

Connacht Matchday Squad V Munster (Sat 21 Dec, 5:15pm)

 (15-9): Tiernan O’Halloran, John Porch, Tom Daly, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade (1-8): Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux (Capt), Eoghan Masterson, Paul Boyle, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Conor Kenny, Dominic Robertson McCoy, Joe Maksymiw, Robin Copeland, Stephen Kerins, Jack Carty, Stephen Fitzgerald.

 

LIMITED TICKETS REMAINING - BUY YOURS HERE

Connacht made it 3 wins from 3 in the 2019/20 pre-season campaign with an entertaining 40-31 win over Munster at The Sportsground on Saturday.
 
Two tries each from scrum-halves Caolin Blade and Kieran Marmion, as well as a try from Peter Robb and captain Jarrad Butler, secured an impressive victory with the squad now going into the start of the Guinness PRO14 campaign on a high.
 
Here’s every Connacht try from the game.
 

Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend has named a strong side to face near neighbours Munster on Saturday (Kick off 3pm), in the third and final fixture of Connacht’s pre-season preparations.
 
With an away trip to Scarlets in the opening round of the Guinness Pro14 next weekend, Connacht will be looking for a win in the Sportsground to add to victories over Oyonnax and the Russian National team over the past few weeks.
 
With Jack Carty away on World Cup duty in Japan, Conor Fitzgerald is named at out half with academy prospect Conor Dean named among the replacements. Caolin Blade will be Fitzgerald’s half back partner, with Kieran Marmion due to feature off the bench.
 
Tom Farrell and Kyle Godwin will start in midfield, while the back three sees Tiernan O’Halloran at full back with Matt Healy and Stephen Fitzgerald on the wings. Fitzgerald will be hoping to maintain the form he showed against Russia when he scored tries in against the World Cup side in Moscow.
 
Paddy McAllister is set for his first appearance in a Connacht jersey since signing from Gloucester in the summer. The loosehead is named in a front row alongside experienced hooker Tom McCartney and Finlay Bealham at tighthead.
 
In the second row, Gavin Thornbury will start alongside Quinn Roux with Ultan Dillane named on the bench. While the back row includes Eoghan Masterson and Colby Fainga’a at blindside and openside respectively with Captain Jarrad Butler at number 8.
 
The game kicks off in the Sportsground at 3pm and tickets are available to purchase from https://www.connachtrugby.ie/Tickets
 
Connacht Matchday Squad:

(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Stephen Fitzgerald, Kyle Godwin, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade, (1-8) Paddy McAllister, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler (Capt).

Replacements (16-23): Jonny Murphy, Denis Buckley, Dominic Robertson McCoy, Ultan Dillane, Eoin McKeon, Kieran Marmion, Conor Dean, John Porch, Paul Boyle, Peter Robb

Tickets are now on general sale for our pre-season friendly with Munster Rugby at The Sportsground on Saturday 21st September.
 
Tickets cost just €10 for adults, €5 for U16s, €15 for the Grant Thornton Seated Stand and €20 for a family bundle of 2x adults and 2x
 
Book your spot before it’s too late!
 
SECURE YOUR MUNSTER TICKETS HERE

Connacht will taking on inter-provincial neighbours Munster in a pre-season friendly, it’s been confirmed today.
 
The game will take place at The Sportsground on Saturday 21st September, one week before Andy Friend’s side are scheduled to begin their Guinness PRO14 campaign for 2019/20.
 
Tickets for the game will go on sale in the coming days while season ticket members go free.

Check out the best pics from Saturday’s disappointing interpro defeat to Munster in the Guinness PRO14.
 

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LIVE STREAM | Connacht Eagles vs Munster ‘A’