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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:

6 Nations

Scarlets provide updates on Williams & Owens

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(Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Liam Williams has recovered from a foot injury that has prevented him playing for the Scarlets so far this season. He has been released from the Wales squad to train with the Scarlets ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Benetton.

Ken Owens has undergone surgery on the shoulder injury he sustained against Glasgow and it is expected he will be unavailable for three to four months.

Josh Macleod has started his rehabilitation for a hamstring injury sustained against Glasgow. He will be targeting a return to play in December.

Scarlets also confirmed that Sam Lousi has been banned for a period of four weeks as a result of his red card in the Guinness PRO14 clash with Glasgow Warriors.

Lousi was shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy (IRFU) under Law 9.13 – a Player must not tackle an opponent early, late, or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling, or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulder even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

The disciplinary hearing was handled by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland) and it was accepted that the player’s actions warranted a red card for foul play. The incident was deemed a mid-range offence, which carries a six-week suspension.

Due to the player’s previous disciplinary record (red card for punching incident, February 2020) the judicial officer could not offer full mitigation therefore, resulting in a four-week suspension.

Lousi is free to resume playing from midnight on November 9, 2020

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Pro14

Marcus Rea to start for Ulster v Ospreys

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Marcus Rea will make his first start for Ulster on Saturday evening, in the Guinness PRO14 Round 2 trip to play Ospreys at Liberty Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm). 

The 23-year-old – who was Player of the Match in his sole previous Ulster appearance as a replacement against Leinster in April 2019 – has been named at openside flanker. Marcus’s older brother Matty – Player of the Match in last weekend’s bonus point win over Benetton – is named alongside him at blindside, with Marcell Coetzee once again packing down at number eight. 

Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and Marty Moore have been given the front row starting berths, and Alan O’Connor has been selected along with captain Iain Henderson in the second row. 

Matt Faddes returns to the starting side on the right wing and will join Jacob Stockdale at full-back and Rob Lyttle on the left wing. Last week’s midfield duo of Stewart Moore and James Hume has been retained. Ian Madigan comes in to start at fly-half, pairing with John Cooney at scrum-half. 

The coaching team has opted for a 6-2 bench split. Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones and Sean Reidy provide the forward options, with David Shanahan and Louis Ludik offering back line cover.  

Ulster team to play Ospreys Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Round 2, Saturday 10 October 2020, at Liberty Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm, live on Premier Sports):   

(15-9) Jacob Stockdale, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle, Ian Madigan, John Cooney.  (1-8) Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.) , Matthew Rea, Marcus Rea, Marcell Coetzee.  Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Louis Ludik, Sean Reidy. 

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Pro14

Munster confirm COVID-19 case. Training suspended.

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster Rugby have been assisting a senior player who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The latest PCR testing carried out on Monday at the HPC has returned a positive result for a player who is asymptomatic. To remove any doubt of a potential false positive the player will be retested tomorrow.
The individual, who was not part of the travelling group at the weekend, and six other players identified by Munster Rugby as potential close contacts, are currently self-isolating.

This approach of identifying possible close contacts is in line with the caution we have taken to this issue, these players may not be deemed close contacts by the HSE.

As a precautionary measure, the squad and academy will not train at the HPC today.
The HSE have been notified for contract tracing purposes.

Further PCR testing will take place tomorrow at the HPC with a return to scheduled training planned for Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 encounter against Edinburgh at Thomond Park.

Munster Rugby Head of Medical, Dr Jamie Kearns, said: “As an immediacy we are taking every precaution by standing down training today.

“We are going to complete another round of PCR testing tomorrow so that we can return to training on Thursday.

“Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our players and staff, and we will continue to work closely with both the IRFU and HSE in this regard.”

Statement from Munster Rugby

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