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Leinster Beat Munster to Claim Final Spot

Leinster saw off Munster in the RDS to give themselves a chance of retaining their Pro 14 crown against Glasgow next weekend

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(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster will face Glasgow Warriors in this seasons Pro 14 final after claiming a 24-9 win over rivals Munster in their semi-final at the RDS on Saturday afternoon. 

Tries from Sean Cronin and James Lowe helped the boys in blue to a much-needed win after last weekend’s demoralising Champions Cup final defeat to Saracens.

The win coupled with Glasgow’s 50-20 hammering of Ulster on Friday night means that it will be a Leinster and Glasgow final in Celtic Park next Saturday.

Leinster got off to the perfect start in their semi-final with Ross Byrne, who came in to replace Johnny Sexton, kicked a penalty within the opening two minutes to give Leinster a 3-0 lead.

However, Joey Carbery, making a return to his former club, slotted over a penalty of his own for Munster only three-minutes later to make it 3-3.

Munster hit the front when James Lowe was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on while Munster had a four man overlap on 24 minutes and the visitors had to settle for another three points from Carbery’s boot.

Leinster survived the ten minutes with only fourteen men without conceding any further scores and as Lowe returned to the field of play Byrne put them level with his second penalty.

It was the hosts who went in happier at half-time when Byrne knocked-over a penalty with the clock in red to make it 9-6 when the whistle blew.

It only looked like there would be one winner in the second-half as some early Leinster possession along with some poor defence from Munster led to Niall Scannell being yellow-carded.

Byrne made it four penalties from four on 45 minutes, and it was 12-6 in the hosts favour.

Carbery pulled three points back five-minutes later but that was as good as it got for the away side as within four minutes Leinster were over for the games opening try.

Some good build-up play allowed the ball to be spread out to the wide right, where it found the entire front-row as Cian Healy burst forward to pass to Tadhg Fulong, who in turn laid it on to Sean Cronin to barge his was over the whitewash.

Byrne converted and it was a 10-point game at 19-9.

Munster had promising territory over the next fifteen minutes but made nothing of it and it looked as though Leinster could break away for a try any time they got their hands on the ball.

However, it wasn’t until the final minute of play that Leinster would score again when some nice passing ended up with Lowe who battled past both Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell to touchdown in the left corner.

Substitute Sexton scuffed the conversion wide, but it meant very little as Leinster marched on to another final.

The win provided Leinster with the chance to gain back-to-back domestic titles next Saturday against Glasgow and they will be even more hungry for silverware having had their European crown taken away from them.

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6 Nations

Wales & Cardiff star to retire at 27

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Cardiff Rugby fullback Hallam Amos will retire at the end of the season to focus on a career in medicine.

The 27-year-old joined Cardiff ahead of the 2019-20 season having previously come through the ranks at the Dragons, where he spent nine years.

He recently completed his clinical medical exams and has informed the club and Welsh Rugby Union of his intention to hang up his boots in June.

Amos said: “After a decade of professional rugby, the 2021/22 season will be my last. I’ve experienced a lot in rugby and have been fortunate to go to two Rugby World Cups, a Commonwealth Games, several Six Nations and I’ve had a lot of great times in the regional game.

“I’m very grateful for the incredible experiences I’ve had but the time has almost come to face a new challenge. I am happy with what I have achieved and telling Dai and Cardiff, and Wayne (Pivac) and Wales, early so they can plan for the future sat a lot easier with me.

“It’s always been my intention to finish when I complete my degree and this season aligns nicely with the final year of my medical studies, so a perfect time to transition from pitch to hospital.

“Throughout my years combining university with a rugby career I’ve had plenty of support – from the WRU, from the Dragons for the first few years of my career, from Cardiff Rugby more recently, and from Cardiff University itself – and I’ll always be thankful for their willingness to accommodate both aspects of my life.

“Particular thanks go to Dai and Wayne who have been understanding over the last couple of weeks as I’ve talked to them about the thought process behind my decision.

“Retiring at 27 will definitely be strange but I’m fully committed to Cardiff Rugby for the rest of the season and hopefully I can finish on a high over the next few months.”

The full-back has made 32 appearances since joining the Blue and Blacks and has taken his tally of international caps to 25.

Cardiff Director of Rugby, Dai Young has led the tributes to the Cardiff medical student and commended his decision to retire on his own terms and with a clear education and plan for the future.

Young said: “Obviously it will be disappointing to lose a player of Hallam’s quality and he has plenty of rugby left in him but you can only admire his decision.

“Not many players get to go out on their own terms and to switch from rugby to a full-time career in medicine sets him up for a long and fruitful career.

“Hallam has worked incredibly hard to juggle rugby and his studies up until now and has achieved a huge amount in the game both at regional and international level.

“He will remain an important figure for us for the remainder of the season and can play without the pressure of the decision hanging over him. For now, the focus is on Cardiff and enjoying his rugby and next summer we will wish him all the very best for the future.”

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Premiership

Wasps sign Munster & Edinburgh players short-term loan deals

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Wasps are delighted to announce that Alex McHenry and Patrick Harrison have joined the Club on short-term deals from United Rugby Championship sides Munster Rugby and Edinburgh Rugby respectively.  

McHenry, a 24-year-old centre, will provide cover for Malakai Fekitoa while he is out with a shoulder injury, while Harrison will provide vital cover at hooker with Gabriel Oghre unavailable.

The 6ft 2in Irishman McHenry, came through the Munster Academy and was capped by Ireland U20 in 2017. McHenry also featured for the Ireland 7s side during the following season. The Christian Brothers College product captained Munster U19s in 2015.

19-year-old Harrison, made his Edinburgh debut against Dragons at the Principality Stadium in March 2020 at the age of 18, becoming the youngest hooker in the club’s history.

That day, he also became the third youngest debutant in PRO14 history – and Edinburgh’s fourth youngest debutant of all time. Harrison made his first start for the Scottish side in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash against Ulster in June 2021.

Wasps Men’s Head Coach Lee Blackett said: “We are delighted to bring Alex and Paddy on board. They will provide vital cover for us, while we are without a number of first team squad players.”  

McHenry added: “I am delighted to get the opportunity to play in the Gallagher Premiership.

“Wasps play a great brand of rugby and I’m looking forward to playing my part in that.”

Harrison said: “I am excited to come down and play some rugby in the English Premiership.

“Wasps are a famous Club, and it is an honour to have joined them.”

Tickets are available for our next Gallagher Premiership home games online by clicking here or by calling the Wasps Ticket Office on 02476 786 411.

Source – Wasps Rugby

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URC

Ulster name team to face Emirate Lions

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Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Ulster coaching team has named the match-day squad to face Emirates Lions at Kingspan Stadium tomorrow evening (7.35pm kick-off), in what will be the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Tickets for the game, priced from £25 for adults and £15 for juniors, are still available at ulsterrugby.com/buytickets.

The starting XV is unchanged to the side that defeated Benetton last Friday evening. Will Addison is selected at full-back alongside Ethan McIlroy and Craig Gilroy on the wings. Stewart Moore and James Hume form the centre partnership. Nathan Doak and Billy Burns are named as the starting half-backs.

Andrew Warwick is named in the front row at loosehead with Ulster’s latest double-centurion, Rob Herring at hooker and Tom O’Toole at tighthead prop. Sam Carter will again lead the side, and is paired with Alan O’Connor in the engine room. Matty Rea is retained at blindside, with Nick Timoney at openside and David McCann is named at Number Eight.

Kieran Treadwell makes his return from injury to the forward replacements alongside Brad Roberts, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane and Sean Reidy. Mike Lowry could make his 50th appearance for the province if called upon from the bench. The other back line replacements are David Shanahan and Ben Moxham.

Ulster team to play Emirates Lions, United Rugby Championship Round 4, Friday 15 October at Kingspan Stadium, 7.35pm kick-off, live on BBC Two NI / RTÉ / Premier Sports:

(15-9) Will Addison, Craig Gilroy, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak;

(1-8) Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter (Capt.), Matty Rea, Nick Timoney, David McCann.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, David Shanahan, Mike Lowry, Ben Moxham.

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