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
Champions Cup Round 1 Fixtures Confirmed
The Champions Cup opening round fixtures have been announced and there are some big games to kick-off the tournament
The first round of Champions Cup fixtures has been confirmed for the 2019/20 season with the tournament to begin on the weekend of the 15th of November.
Reigning champions Saracens will begin their title defence with a tough away trip to Racing 92 in what is the last game of the weekend on Sunday November 17th.
Elsewhere, last season’s beaten finalists Leinster open their tournament with a home game against competition debutants Benetton on the Saturday, while Northampton Saints host Lyon in the other match in Pool 1.
The first game of what is the 25th edition of the tournament is the Pool 5 clash of Gloucester and Toulouse, as the reigning Top 14 champions look to go a step further than last season’s semi-final defeat to Leinster. Connacht play Montpellier in the groups other game on the Sunday.
The pool stages are set to finish on the second and third weekends of January, while the final itself takes place in the Stade de Marseille on May 23rd 2020.
Another Fijian Heads to Scotland
Glasgow Warriors have confirmed the signing of a Fijian star only two days after Edinburgh captured the signing of Mesulame Kunavula
Glasgow Warriors have announced the signing of Fijian hooker Mesu Dolokota on a two-year deal from Fijian Drua.
The 24-year-old was named in Fiji’s World Cup training squad last month and will join up with the Warriors following the conclusion of the tournament in Japan.
“I’m very happy to be joining Glasgow Warriors and I’m looking forward to playing in two of the best rugby competitions in the world. The opportunity to learn from such an experienced coaching team and play in such a successful team is very exciting for me. The club has a strong Fijian history and I hope I can be a big part of it going forward,” he said.
The hooker has nine international caps for Fiji as well as having experience in Super Rugby with the Brumbies in 2015 and Glasgow assistant coach John Dalziel is delighted to add more experience to the squad.
“Mesu is an exciting talent who will bring even more international experience to our front row. He isn’t your traditional front-row forward, he likes to bring a bit of Fijian flair to his game, but he can also do the basics very well and we’re excited to work with him when he shows up following international duty,” he said.
Dolokoto follows the footsteps of fellow Fijian Mesulame Kunavula, who joined Edinburgh only a couple of days ago and the PRO 14 can look forward to some Fijian flare next season.
Leinster Unveil New European and Alternative Jerseys
Leinster have revealed their European and alternative jerseys for the 2019/20 season
Leinster have unveiled their new Adidas European and alternative jerseys for the 2019/20 season.
Leinster have revealed that the jersey has been inspired by meteorites that were once used to create iron spears and will be worn by the club for the next two seasons.
“The pattern of the Leinster Rugby European jersey takes inspiration from meteorites that fell from the sky and were used by the Laighin people to create their iron spear. These meteorite formations form the graphic design of the jersey paying homage to the tale of the metal of the Gods, providing bold and vibrant energy for Leinster Rugby’s European campaign,” they said on their official website.
The alternative jersey is a shade of purple with black strips horizontally across the shirt.
They have said that this jersey is inspired by the purple skyline that is seen across the east coach of Ireland.
“The Alternate jersey embodies the electric energy of Ireland’s east coast at night. The iconic purple skyline forms the colour inspiration for this season’s kit. Incorporating a twist on the traditional hoop design, the kit harnesses the vibrant energy of the province, whilst maintaining a classic look and feel,” they added.
As well as the two new jerseys Leinster will continue to wear their Adidas home jersey from the 2018/19 season for the season ahead.
You can view the full Leinster Range for the up coming season here.
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