FT | A seven-try Guinness PRO14 win at a sold-out Irish Independent Park!
Neil Cronin, Andrew Conway, Darren Sweetnam, Billy Holland, Rhys Marshall, Jean Kleyn and Rory Scannell touch down as we stay top of Conference A!#MUNvKIN #SUAF ? pic.twitter.com/8Hxu1mdpBN— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) February 15, 2019
The win now means that Munster remain top of Conference A while the Kings are rock bottom of Conference B with only two wins this season.
With five internationals back for Munster it was actually the visitors who got off to a good start to the game with breaks from the likes of Martinus Burger and Michael Willlemse showing their attacking qualities.
However, it was the hosts that struck first with Neil Cronin diving over in the 13th minute. With Rory Scannell converting in front of the posts for a 7-0 lead.
From there the Kings frustrated Munster for a large period of the half following that try but Munster also caused their own downfall with a number of mistakes.
The visitors No 8 Ruaan Lerm was sin-binned after 35 minutes as he took out Cronin in a ruck.
That yellow card left more space for Munster and within a couple of minutes, Andrew Conway was in for try number two following some great work from Jean Kleyn and Tyler Bleyendaal.
The kick was missed, and it was 12-0 at half-time.
HT | @NeilCronin92, with his first Munster try, and Andrew Conway touch down in the first half as @Scannell_Rory12 kicks a conversion to give Munster a 12-point lead.#MUNvKIN #SUAF ? pic.twitter.com/wq5cXwjXoP— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) February 15, 2019
The second half began as a scrappy affair until kicks from Conway and Alby Mathewson in the 53rd minute sent Darren Sweetnam rushing over the line and Scannell converted to push them out to a 19-point lead.
On the hour mark, Billy Holland secured the bonus-point try after a couple of quick carries from Arno Botha. The two points were missed meaning it stayed at 24-0 heading into the final quarter.
The last 20 minutes were dominated by the hosts and replacement Luke Marshell added try number five from a maul which was converted by Scannell once more.
Kings subs Tertius Kruger and Andisa Ntstila were binned for a high tackle on Sweetnam and a tip tackle on Conway respectively.
Man of the match Kleyn got in on the scoring act with 10 minutes remaining, but the extras were missed.
Scannell made up for his missed kicks with a last-minute try of his own which he converted himself to leave the score at 43-0.
The biggest upset of the night was seeing Chris Farrell come off after 18 minutes with a knee injury which is a worry for both Munster and Ireland.
Speaking after the win assistant coach Jerry Flannery gave a quick update on Farrell’s injury.
“I think Chris just tweaked his knee on a carry. We already had it strapped beforehand so it is just precautionary at this stage,” he said.
Cronin also spoke after the game about his team’s content at winning the match.
“We knew what we had to do to win but they didn’t make it easy for us, so we’re delighted with the five points,” he said.
The win leaves Munster seven points clear at the top of conference A for now, while the Kings remain joint-bottom of Conference B with only 19 points.
Next up for the men in red is a trip to Wales to face the Ospreys, while the Kings continue their tour of the northern hemisphere with another tough test away to reigning champions Leinster. Embed from Getty Images
Dan McFarland extends stay with Ulster for a further two years
Ulster Rugby Head Coach, Dan McFarland, has renewed his commitment to the province by signing a new two-year contract extension.
Since joining the club in August 2018, Ulster has regularly competed at the knock-out stages of both the Guinness PRO14 and Heineken Champions Cup, including at the most recent Guinness PRO14 final – a first for the province in seven years.
Of his contract renewal, Dan McFarland, said:
“I’m delighted to be signing again with Ulster. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two and a half years working and learning with some really good people, and I’m looking forward to continuing to help drive on our improvement as a group and as individuals.
“As a group, we are extremely ambitious in our aim to be consistently competing for championships. With exciting young talent continuing to emerge out of our Academy system, joining forces with the proven talent within our squad – many of whom have been recently recognised at international level – I look forward to what the weeks and months ahead hold as we take on our next challenges in the domestic league and in Europe this season.”
Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie, added:
“I’m extremely pleased to see Dan extend his commitment to Ulster Rugby, giving us the opportunity to continue to build on the fantastic work that he has done in his time here so far.
“It is plain to see, both on and off the field of play, the ethos that he has instilled in the group, and that is being borne out both in our performances and our results – a team of which the people of Ulster can be rightly and fiercely proud.
“I’m looking forward to working with Dan in the coming years, to see where we can take this. It’s an exciting prospect.”
Ulster & Leinster announce teams for huge Inter-Pro Clash
The team sees six changes to the side that defeated Munster at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday. Michael Lowry comes in to start at full-back and is joined on the wings by Matt Faddes and last weekend’s Player-of-the-Match, Ethan McIlroy. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume will form the midfield duo, and in the half-backs, John Cooney will partner Billy Burns.
Andrew Warwick and Marty Moore are named at loosehead and tighthead prop, with Rob Herring completing the front row at hooker. Alan O’Connor comes in to pair with captain Sam Carter in the second row. Greg Jones, Jordi Murphy and Marcell Coetzee make up the starting back row forwards.
John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell and Nick Timoney will provide forward reinforcements off the bench. David Shanahan, Ian Madigan and Ben Moxham will offer back line cover.
Ulster team to play Leinster Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Round 11, Friday 8 January at the RDS Arena (kick-off 7.35pm, live on Premier Sports / eir Sport):
(15-9) Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney.
(1-8) Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter (Capt.), Greg Jones, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Nick Timoney, David Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Ben Moxham.
The Leinster Rugby team, as sponsored by Bank of Ireland, to face Ulster Rugby in the RDS Arena in Round 11 of the Guinness PRO14 has been announced by Leo Cullen (KO 7.35pm live on eir Sport and RTÉ Radio).
Johnny Sexton will captain the team as a number of players return from injury for the top of Conference A clash.
Hugo Keenan is selected at full back with Jordan Larmour back after a shoulder injury to start on the right wing and Dave Kearney selected on the left.
Robbie Henshaw starts in the inside centre jersey with Ross Byrne starting outside him in the number 13 jersey for the first time in his Leinster senior career.
In the half-backs, Jamison Gibson-Park is joined by captain Johnny Sexton.
Cian Healy starts at loosehead prop with Andrew Porter at tighthead, while Seán Cronin makes his first start of the season at hooker after recovering from a thumb injury.
Former Australian international Scott Fardy is joined by James Ryan in the second row while, in the back row, fit-again Rhys Ruddock starts with Josh van der Flier at openside and Caelan Doris at number eight.
On the bench, Harry Byrne returns from a back injury picked up in the warm-up before the Northampton Saints game.
Team News from Ulster Rugby & Leinster Rugby
Ulster to welcome 1,000 fans for Scarlets clash
Ulster Rugby last night announced that 1,000 supporters will be welcomed to the Kingspan Stadium this weekend. Statement from Ulster Rugby below:
The Ulster Men have played behind closed doors since the opening game of the season against Benetton Rugby when the club successfully trialled the safe return of spectators following extensive consultation with the IRFU, Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Executive.
All 500 pairs of tickets will be made available to #TogetherUlster Members only via an online ballot process. Members who applied for tickets to the Benetton match but missed out due to limited availability will receive priority in the ballot.
Sunday night’s match will feature a mix of seating and terracing in operation across all four stands and the East Terrace. Tickets are again priced at £20 each, allocated in groups of two with two-metre physical distancing factored in.
The online ballot will be open for 24 hours from 1pm on Tuesday 17 November on the Ulster Rugby Ticket Account Manager, and account holders can apply for one pair of tickets per every Adult #TogetherUlster Membership held. All successful applicants will be notified on Wednesday evening once the ballot has closed and tickets have been allocated. Members will then have until 1pm on Thursday 19 November to confirm their ticket purchase and process payment.