The game this week was neither on terrestrial TV nor streamed online. Hence I found myself on Friday night, listening to the BBC Wales radio stream as they checked in periodically with their reporter at Rodney Parade for updates from the Dragons v Munster game there, while also monitoring twitter and the Munsterfans forum. At one stage almost 500 viewers were on the forum watching the game unfold. The post title RSI (repetitive strain injury) reflects the dangers of too much clicking between the various sites and refreshing their pages 🙂
Twitter provided more immediate information than the RaboDirrect match day live tracker, while some fans at the game managed to provide updates to the match thread on the Munsterfans forum. One of those (the plastic paddy) posted his detailed match report on that thread on Saturday and it is well worth a read.
There was not a lot of action to update about in the first half. Jason Tovey of Dragons scored first with a penalty awarded after 11 minutes from a collapsed scrum after a high ball was knocked on. Munster equalised through Ian Keatley after 25 minutes. On the stroke of half time Tovey restored the lead with his second successful penalty.
The Dragons started the second half brightly with a try by Matthew Pewtner extending their lead to 11-3. Mike Sherry went off injured. Keatley kept Munster ticking over on the scoreboard. New arrival Gerhard van den Heever went off with an arm injury to be replaced by Ivan Dineen. Munster took the lead with Keatley’s fourth penalty on 67′ only for a Tovey drop goal to snatch it back with ten minutes left. However from inside his own half a long range penalty from Keatley edged Munster back in front on 73 minutes setting up a nail biting finish. Earls spent 10 minutes in the sinbin for a high tackle, being joined there for 3 minutes by the Dragons lock Hill. Both yellow cards were judged to be harsh by the BBC reporters.
Another Munster penalty was converted on 76 minutes to give Munster a 4 point cushion but the Dragons tried to do to Munster what the All Blacks had done to Ireland, only to be called back for a forward pass. Apparently the stadium clock was not working so we were waiting anxiously for an update to confirm the final score. Highlights have been provided by RaboDirect:
It was close but we got another win on the road and momentum has been maintained as the crucial back to back Heineken Cup games against Perpignan come into focus. Players returning from injury – Earls, Keatley and Downey – came through the game and will be better for it if selected next weekend. For the supporters going to Thomond on Sunday, the weather forecast indicates thermals, hat, scarf, snood, etc may be required for the lunch time kick-off as the current forecast is for a high of just 3C.
Munster: Felix Jones; Gerhard van den Heever, Keith Earls, James Downey, Denis Hurley; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer; Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell; Billy Holland (Capt.), CJ Stander, James Coughlan
Replacements: Damien Varley, James Cronin, BJ Botha, Ian Nagle, Barry O’Mahony, Cathal Sheridan, JJ Hanrahan, Ivan Dineen