Planet Rugby

Munster bounce back in Galway

24th March 2012 21:36

Share:

Simon Zebo Munster Northampton HESC 2012

Try for Munster: Simon Zebo

Munster overturned a half-time deficit to beat Connacht 20-16 in the Pro12 at the Sportsground on Saturday.

Munster bounced back from defeat to Aironi last time out to retain second place in the Pro12 standings.

The hosts opened up a 10-6 half-time advantage thanks to Ethienne Reynecke's try and five points from the boot of Miah Nikora while Ian Keatley responded for the visitors with two penalties.

But Munster gradually asserted their authority in the second period and although two Nikora penalties gave Connacht hope, converted tries from Simon Zebo and Tommy O'Donnell earned the win.

With Leinster's shock defeat to the Ospreys on Friday, it gave Munster a chance to make up ground on the team at the top of the table.

But it was Connacht, who before this game had won just four league games, who took the lead when Nikora kicked a penalty.

Munster hit back almost straight from the kick-off when Keatley converted one of his own, but it was the Galway-based outfit who were looking more threatening.

And after Mick O'Driscoll was sin-binned for the visitors, Reynecke touched down with Nikora converting. Keatley then reduced the deficit to four points at the break with a three-pointer.

However, another penalty from the hosts' fly-half extended their advantage before Munster responded in devastating fashion when Zebo crossed the whitewash. Keatley levelled the match with the conversion and Connacht had to dig in once again.

To their credit, they regained the lead through Nikora's accurate boot, but the Limerick side are always dangerous when presented with an opportunity.

And they broke through the hosts' rearguard when O'Donnell barged over, Keatley adding the extras, as they took the lead for the first time which they never relinquished.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Try: Reynecke
Con: Nikora
Pens: Nikora 3

For Munster:
Tries: Zebo, O'Donnell
Cons: Keatley 2
Pens: Keatley 2

Yellow card: O'Driscoll (Munster - 23rd min)

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy (capt), 14 Kyle Tonetti, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Henry Fa'afili, 11 Tiernan O'Halloran, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Ray Ofisa, 6 Mick Kearney, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Finlay Bealham, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Eoin McKeon, 20 Eoghan Grace, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Dave McSharry.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Denis Hurley, 13 Johne Murphy, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 James Coughlan, 7 David Wallace, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll (capt), 4 Ian Nagle, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Tommy O'Donnell, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Scott Deasy, 23 Luke O'Dea.

Venue: The Sportsground
Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU)
Assistant referees: Paul Haycock, Michael Black (both IRFU)
Citing commissioner: Denis Templeton (IRFU)
TMO: Seamus Flannery (IRFU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615