Fumblin’ with a greasy pill: Treviso: 13 – Munster: 16

Treviso were aiming to win their third game in a row and weren’t too far away from achieving that.  However, perhaps the most significant result of the weekend in our micro-battle for European Cup qualification came from Galway where, thanks to Connacht not conceding even a losing bonus point to Ospreys, they helped Munster move back up to 6th place in the table and open a gap on our Welsh rivals.

TableFeb28The wet and windy conditions played a big part in the stop-start nature of the contest.  The pitch was very muddy, a stark contrast to last week’s artificial surface in Scotland, and may have led to a high dependence on a kicking game with 31 lineouts according to the stats  Those are not as complete as usual but I am including the below snippet here so you can see their territory stat and wonder at it’s accuracy for yourself!TreVMun_Feb16I picked up a bug during the week so I did not get into town to watch the game in the pub with my friends but thanks to Patrick’s tweet I was able to watch a live stream.  However I was not able to give it my usual attention until today so I was glad to check out the highlights on TG4 (available on their player here )

A great pass from Saili in midfield to van den Heever set up the first try of the game after 11 minutes.  As the rain poured down a pick and go by Robert Barbieri resulted in Treviso scoring a try which was converted by Jayden Hayward after 25 minutes.  Later, Copeland and van den Heever combined well but ran out of space when the defence scrambled back to force Gerhard into touch just metres from the try line to leave it 7-5 at the break.

There was drama just after the restart, caused in part by the referee deciding on the score based on how Ian Keatley had walked away as Jayden Hayward was congratulated by his team mates!   The referee initially indicated the try had been scored but then called on the TMO to review when Munster protested.  It was very close but in the slow motion you could see Ian’s black sleeve touch down first as Hayward’s hand arrived to also touch down.

Duncan Williams made a block down shortly afterwards but Darren Sweetnam could not capitalise in the greasy conditions.  However a few minutes later Darren chased Keatley’s kick deep into the Treviso 22 from about his own 22.  The ball bounced slowly on the heavy ground and so he was able to put the Treviso player under pressure in a 1:1 and indeed won back possession, again showing his excellent workrate.

However Treviso were next to score through a penalty when Munster went offside to take a 10-5 lead on 52 minutes.

The Treviso scrum had the edge on the Munster men especially in the first half but with the arrival of reinforcements in the shapes of Scannell, Foley and O’Donnell, with O’Donoghue at 8 they marched the Italians backwards, gaining a penalty advantage.  However they did not need to go back for that advantage as impressive interplay between Saili, Sweetnam and Conway ended with a lovely kick-ahead by Conway which Saili got to first to tie the scores at 10 apiece.   The conversion effort looked good but the wind just carried it off course.


A photo from my January visit to Treviso

Jayden Hayward was successful with his penalty kick on 64 minutes to regain the lead but Keatley delivered two successful kicks in succession on 68 and 74 minutes to seal victory and secure the precious four points.  Dave Kilcoyne almost undid the good work giving away a penalty and a man advantage to the Italians when he was sinbinned with less than three minutes left after he shoulder-charged the ruck.  His team mates continued to put in the tackles to hold out Treviso until eventually the home team knocked on and the final whistle was blown.  There were some additional highlights of note including a great break by Rory Scannell, while Andrew Conway’s handling was impressive in difficult conditions but this was not a classic encounter, more of a potential banana skin which was thankfully  avoided.

Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Gerhard van den Heever; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, John Ryan; Mark Chisholm, Billy Holland – capt., Jack O’Donoghue, Dave O’Callaghan, Robin Copeland.  Replacements: Niall Scannell, Peter McCabe, Mario Sagario, Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Cathal Sheridan, Cian Bohane, David Johnston.

Treviso: Jayden Hayward; Ludovico Nitoglia, Luca Morisi, Alberto Sgarbi (capt.), Angelo Esposito; Sam Christie, Alberto Lucchese; Alberto De Marchi, Luca Bigi, Simone Ferrari; Filo Paulo, Tom Palmer; Marco Barbini, Marco Lazzaroni, Robert Barbieri.  Replacements: Federico Zani, Cherif Traorè, Filippo Filippetto, Jeff Montauriol, Dean Budd, Andrea De Marchi, Chris Smylie, Tommaso Iannone.

Memories of WB Yeats inspired the title of this blog – you can check out the full poem here


Always lovely to get a personal response from Strings. What a legend!  Great to see him secure a new contract



7 comments on “Fumblin’ with a greasy pill: Treviso: 13 – Munster: 16

  1. Dia Dhuit Gayl. Thanks again great blog 52K hits should win an Oscar.
    Munster definitely targeting Ulster’s spot in the play-offs.
    Fabulous person Stringer, met him at his Nov15 book launch in Limerick.
    W B Yeats http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/williambut383082.html might have inspired the Red Army. Ádh mór Munster next up Newport Gwent DRAGONS on Sat night. Hope you are well enough to travel.

    • Thanks Tony. It’s a strange bug going around but hopefully it won’t stop me this weekend from,taking my place on the terrace. Joe is to release some of the Irish squad which should strengthen Axels’ hand. We can’t afford any slip ups but will be good to get back to Thomond.

  2. Two comments, Gayl – delighted for Peter S and his new contract; shows what an outstanding professional he is and always has been (ps wish he were back with us …)

    Secondly, speaking of “true professionalism”, I understand that Tommy O’D was the 24th man at Twickenham on Saturday. So, special mention to him for getting to Italy to be on the bench.

    • Excellent point re Tommy Olive (and Peter). He made a big impact when he was introduced. Have to say I feel sorry for him as he had played well for Ireland in the previous rounds and I did not feel he deserved to be dropped. We are very thin at 7 this season with the departures of Paddy and Sean so Tommy is critical for Munster and has played well since his earlier than expected return from his horrific injury during the summer,

  3. Great blog again and thanks for the highlights did not see nothing here in Wales. Good result and need to follow it up with a win against the Dragons and Cardiff (game in hand) the week after. Need at least 9 points from these two games I think to maintain our push for top four. Glad you are on the mend

  4. from the Forum:
    WaterfordLad: Love the title DD
    Mr Chips: Likewise! Hopefully we will “come to sense” in terms of our playing style before the season’s out.

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