After a bit of early tension, it was Gloucester that took first points, with Billy Twelvetrees knocking over a penalty after 13 minutes, after a period of sustained pressure. It wasn’t long before Munster responded, with a penalty from Joey Carbery. Carbery added a try not long later, after some heavy carrying from Chris Farrell and CJ Stander.
No need to go round them if you can go thru them!!— Ronan O Gara (@RonanOGara10) January 11, 2019
After a few more phases, Stander made a fantastic close in carry with Kleyn and Killer adding a latch on.— Three Red Kings (@threeredkings) January 12, 2019
After that phase, Murray hit the ball wide to Farrell, who took out three Gloucester defenders. pic.twitter.com/JvtgRKon77
Munster dominated the hosts all evening. Peter O’Mahony, caused the Gloucester lineout no end of trouble, with Tadhg Beirne doing likewise at the breakdown. The Gloucester back 3 of Tom Hudson, Charlie Sharples and Ollie Thorley had a torrid game under the high ball, Conor Murray’s boxkicking doing untold damage, with Gloucester suffering 7 handling errors in the first half alone.
Huge shock as Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne go about spoiling absolutely everything within their reach.— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) January 11, 2019
Munster showed just how physically dominant they were just before half time, 28 phases of meaty carrying off a scrum around halfway led to Rory Scannell barrelling over, converted again by Joey Carbery.
The second half didn’t start exactly to plan for Munster; a fluffed restart from Carbery, and Peter O’Mahony went off with an injury within 5 minutes, a concern for Ireland with less than 3 weeks to the Six Nations.
Gloucester crossed for the first try after 51 minutes. Ollie Thorley went over after a 35 phase Herculean defensive effort from Munster, to bring the score back to 8-20.
Munster hit back immediately however. Keith Earls went over in the corner after CJ Stander smashed Danny Cipriani off a scrum. Andrew Conway thought he had his first try of the game five minutes later, but it was ruled out for a forward pass.
It was the Joey show from then on. Carbery responded to a Gloucester try from Fraser Balmain by sending a gorgeous grubber kick through for Andrew Conway to collect and dot down. He crossed for his second try not long later, intercepting a Ben Morgan pass to run in under the sticks. Unsurprisingly Carbery got man of the match for his efforts. A massive bonus point win, the men from Limerick will be full of confidence for Exeter’s visit to Thomond next week.
Simply stunning JC.. capacity to scan on the run and execute belongs to very few..#Special— Ronan O Gara (@RonanOGara10) January 11, 2019
Ulster name team for Northampton Quarter-Final trip
Michael Lowry is named to start at full-back, and is joined in the back three by Jacob Stockdale and Robert Baloucoune. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume will form the midfield duo, and Billy Burns and John Cooney are the starting half-backs.
In the front row, Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring and Marty Moore retain their starting berths. Alan O’Connor will partner Kieran Treadwell in the second row. Last week’s Player of the Match, Sean Reidy, will start at blindside flanker, with Jordi Murphy skippering the team at openside and Nick Timoney at Number Eight.
John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea and Greg Jones will provide the forward reinforcements from the bench, with Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan and Ethan McIlroy named as the back line options.
Ulster team to play Northampton Saints, Challenge Cup Quarter-Final, Saturday 10 April at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport):
(15-9) Michael Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney;
(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy (Capt.), Nick Timoney.
Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, Greg Jones, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.
Big names miss out for Ulster
The back line sees just one change from the side that played Toulouse last Friday. Michael Lowry, Jacob Stockdale and Matt Faddes all retain their positions in the back three. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume are the starting midfield duo. Billy Burns returns at fly-half and will captain the side; he will partner John Cooney at scrum-half.
The front row remains unchanged for this game. Rob Herring is named at hooker, with Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore packing down at loosehead and tighthead prop. Alan O’Connor will partner with his brother David – who will make his first Heineken Champions Cup start with Sam Carter missing out through concussion. Sean Reidy has been selected at blindside, with Jordi Murphy returning at openside. Nick Timoney comes in to start at Number Eight to replace the injured Marcel Coetzee.
John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, and Greg Jones are the forward bench options. Academy player, Ethan McIlroy could make his European debut if called upon from the bench, and is named alongside Alby Mathewson and Ian Madigan in the back line replacements.
Ulster team to play Gloucester, Heineken Champions Cup Round 2, Saturday 19 December 2020 at Kingsholm Stadium, kick-off 3.15pm, live on BT Sport / beIN Sport:
(15-9) Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns (Capt.), John Cooney;
(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, David O’Connor, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.
Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, Greg Jones, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.
Ulster name strong side to face Toulouse
In the back three, Jacob Stockdale returns from international duty to the left wing, joining Michael Lowry at full-back and Matt Faddes on the right wing. In midfield, Stuart McCloskey also returns from the Ireland squad to partner with James Hume. Ian Madigan has been named at fly-half alongside John Cooney at scrum-half.
Having made his international debut against Scotland last week, Eric O’Sullivan, comes in to take the starting berth at loosehead prop. Rob Herring also returns from Ireland duties and is named at hooker, with Marty Moore retaining his position at tighthead. Alan O’Connor will partner with Sam Carter, who will lead the side from the second row. Sean Reidy and Jordi Murphy are named at blindside and openside, with Marcell Coetzee completing the pack at Number Eight.
John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, and Matty Rea provide the forward options, with Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore and Craig Gilroy offering back line cover from the bench.
Ulster team to play Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Round 1, Friday 11 December 2020 at Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport / beIN Sport:
(15-9) Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Ian Madigan, John Cooney;
(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter (Capt.), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Matty Rea, Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore, Craig Gilroy.