- Honours even in teammate battle
- GAA Round-Up: Honours Even In Salthill & Tullamore
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October 13, am By The Editor. Mark Flanagan both starts and makes his Champions Cup debut this weekend. In making the changes there are three introductions to the backline with Simon Zebo returning to take his place at fullback, Darren Sweetnam named on the wing, and Rory Scannell restored to midfield joining Champions Cup debutant Chris Farrell. Keith Earls is retained on the wing after an impressive seasonal debut last Saturday that saw him score a brace against his interprovincial rivals.
As expected Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal start, with Bleyendaal making the positional switch this week to renew their half-back pairing from last season. In the forwards, newcomer Mark Flanagan makes his first start for the province and his Champions Cup debut, as he joins the most capped player Billy Holland in the engine room.
Europe comes to town when Munster play their first home game of the Champions Cup against Racing 92 on Saturday October 21 at 5. October 15, pm By The Editor. Dave Kilcoyne scores Munster's second try. Overcoming a late onslaught from their hosts, Munster held on for an opening round all draw away to Castres at the Stade Pierre-Antoine this afternoon. A side well versed in last-gasp wins in Europe, Munster almost tasted their own medicine when Benjamin Urdapilleta missed a penalty in the 77 th minute before also sending a drop-goal attempt wide with the last act of the game.
The game finished with Castres left to rue an opportunity missed, and Munster left counting their blessings. Down to men early on, the province almost came through the sin-binning of Conor Murray unscathed only for Robert Emerson to intercept when the visitors were overly ambitious in midfield.
No sooner had Munster replied through Simon Zebo when the hosts struck again, this time through Julien Dumora. However repeated infringements from Castres as Munster pounded their line at least saw Tyler Bleyendaal reduce the gap to with the hosts finishing the half down to 14 men. Taking advantage of the extra man, a Dave Kilcoyne touchdown put Munster in front for the first time before an Urdapilleta penalty levelled affairs to set up a tense final quarter.
It could have been game, set and match to Castres were it not for excellent try-saving tackles from Keith Earls and Darren Sweetnam on opposite flanks and Munster ill-discipline put the fate of Castres well and truly in their own hands. But the hard work would be undone on 12 minutes when, as Munster built pressure and phases in opposition territory, a long range pass from Chris Farrell was easily picked off by Robert Ebersohn and the centre had a clear run to the posts with Urdapilleta adding the easy extras.
Honours even in teammate battle
Back came Castres, showing the potency of their counter attack with Julien Dumora touching down after Munster failed to find touch in the windy conditions. Urdapilleta kicked the extras. Yet Munster always kept in touch and had the final say of the half. Putting relentless pressure on the Castres tryline, in the end they settled for an easy three points despite justifiable claims for a penalty-try.
Ebersohn did at least see yellow and Munster would make the man advantage count in the second half. Working up another head of steam upon the resumption, some quick thinking from Murray caught the hosts somewhat off guard — his tap and go finding Kilcoyne who would not be stopped at close range, and certainly not with CJ Stander in support. It was a chance. By then, the players were spent and the crowd close to exhaustion too. The nature of the game — frantic, crowded, hard-hitting meant that the many good players cancelled one another out.
The efficiency and invention of players like Clarke and Jemar Hall for Armagh and Niall Murray and Conor Moynagh for Cavan stood out through the close covering and defensive orientation of both teams. It was apiece at the break and each score was so hard earned that the daylight Armagh earned in the second half left them in a commanding position.
So both these teams are seized with a desperate ambition to push on this summer and what transpired on this cold June day will further convince them both that they have the stuff to succeed. The stakes will be higher when they return here to do it all again.get link
GAA Round-Up: Honours Even In Salthill & Tullamore
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CRICKET: Honours even as Anderson takes five against Worcestershire
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