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Pro14

Munster topple Cardiff. Talking points, highlights & tries.

Munster secured a bonus-point victory over the Cardiff Blues to keep their hopes of finishing first in Conference A alive

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Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Munster sealed another bonus-point defeating the Cardiff Blues 45-21 at the Irish Independent Park on Friday night.

The win means that the reds remain in second in Conference A three points behind Glasgow and will head into the final games with every chance of finishing top spot.

Both teams started well with the visitors breaking the deadlock after seven minutes as Rey Lee-Lo ran a perfect line before Tomos Williams finished off the move. Gareth Anscombe converted to make it 7-0.

Munster responded well and five minutes later were rewarded as Tyler Bleyendaal slotted home a penalty to leave it at 7-3.

Chris Farrell put the home side ahead on 18 minutes when he touched down following a brilliant turnover from man of the match Peter O’Mahony. The conversion made it 10-7.

10 minutes on and Munster were in again as Conor Murray set-up Jean Kleyn for the five-pointer. Bleyendaal again converted and they had a 10-point lead.

There was another score in before half-time with Blues’ Aled Summerhill scoring in the corner after some great work from Anscombe and Matthew Morgan. Anscombe kicked the extras once more and it was 17-14 at half-time.

Five minutes into the second-half and Cardiff were over for their third try through Lee-Lo after a quick-tap penalty from Williams. Another successful kick from Anscombe made it 21-17 to the away side.

That lead didn’t last too long as substitute CJ Stander ran in the home sides third try of the night and Bleyendaal converted to put three points between the teams once again.

Shortly after the hour mark Murray claimed Munster’s bonus-point, touching down after Dave Kilcoyne was short with his attempt. Bleyendaal was perfect from the tee again to stretch the lead out to 31-21.

Some fine work from Farrell and Mike Haley allowed Andrew Conway to score their fifth try and a fifth conversion from Bleyendaal meant it was 38-21 with 15 minutes left.

Sammy Arnold touched down late on to round off a strong showing from the home side. JJ Hanrahan added the two extra points as it ended 45-21.

Speaking after the game, Munster hooker Kevin O’Byrne emphasised how vital the win was to his side.

“Can’t underestimate how important that win was tonight and especially to get the scores as well,” he said.

The win, their 10th in 11 games, keeps Munster in the hunt for a home semi-final, while Cardiff remain in a scrap for a play-off spot.

Match Highlights:

Champions Cup

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

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(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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.

Dolokoto is happy to be signing for the PRO 14 runners-up and is excited to feature in both the PRO 14 and the Champions Cup.

“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.

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Champions Cup

Leinster Unveil New European and Alternative Jerseys

Leinster have revealed their European and alternative jerseys for the 2019/20 season

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster have unveiled their new Adidas European and alternative jerseys for the 2019/20 season.

The European jersey is an alteration on the traditional blue home jerseys worn by the reigning two-time PRO 14 champions.

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.

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Pro14

Cardiff Blues Cut Ties with Key Coach

Cardiff Blues are on the look out for a new attack coach according to reports

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(Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Cardiff Blues have let go of attack coach Jason Strange just a year after signing him up according to WalesOnline. 

Head coach John Mulvihill appointed the U20’s Grand Slam winning coach in what was his first move last year as he took over, however, he is said to be unimpressed by the team’s attacking showings last season and is in the market for a new coach.

The Cardiff Blues finished fifth in their PRO 14 conference, scoring 60 tries and missed out on qualification to the Champions Cup as a result, failing to live up to expectations having claimed Challenge Cup glory the previous season.

Former Welsh scrum-half Richie Rees, who has spent time working with the club’s academy is looking like the most likely replacement at this stage.

However, it is possible that Mulvihill will seek to bring in a more experience figure ahead of the new season.

Strange is considered to be a talented coaching prospect having worked with the Wales U20’s and bringing through 10 first team players from Cardiff’s academy into the first team and should have no problem finding a new project to work on.

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