The WTMO was in fine voice: Munster: 46 – Treviso: 3

The West Terrace Match Officials were present and correct prior to kick-off at a cold Thomond Park. We could have done with a few more folks to join us for their body heat but we survived and were entertained with plenty of action as Munster kept up their recent try scoring form.  The game was not televised so there was no official TMO but we provided our assistance to the officials when there was a high tackle, offside, knock-on or other infringement by the visitors!


Ian McKinley wearing his protective googles, kicks off the game

Although Treviso opened the scoring with a penalty kicked by Ian McKinley after just seven minutes that was their only score of the day. Missing 11 players to the Italian Autumn internationals and another nine through injury they were no match for a strong Munster team. It is great to see the depth and competition for places in the Munster team at the moment and those selected for this game wanted to put their hands up for selection for the tough sequence of games coming in December and January.

Munster took control of the game on 16’ with their first scrum after having equalised a few minutes earlier.


Munster win a penalty from their dominant scrum

From that scrum they won a penalty which was kicked for touch. Jack O’Donoghue secured the lineout and the maul was formed and drove for the line. The ball was moved out to midfield where Jaco Taute was held up over the line to win a 5m scrum.


Mauling towards the try line in the lead-up to the first try

The Munster pack continued their dominance to drive Treviso back, Robin Copeland was credited with the touchdown which Tyler converted to make it 10-3.


Robin Copeland controls the ball as the scrum marches forward

Five minutes later we were wishing for the big screen when Andrew Conway raised his arm in triumph and we wondered what we had missed over on the far side. The referee consulted with his assistant and the try was awarded. Apparently, the chip through had bounced back off the corner flag, Conway chasing the kick reacted well to score.

The pick of the magnificent seven was a beauty. From deep within the Munster half, a perfectly weighted cross field kick by Bleydendaal was gathered by Ronan O’Mahony without breaking stride as he raced down his wing at full pace. He drew the defender before offloading to Andrew Conway in support who showed his pace to score his second try in the 35th minute. That brought the score to 22-3 and so it remained at half-time as the minis took to the pitch.


Half time minis

It did not take long to secure the bonus point, the first try for Darren O’Shea who dragged a few Italians over the line with him as he touched down in the 42nd minute.  See the great photo of his score at the end of the article in the Indo here – you can see Tommy is helping out too!  In fact watching the highlights Tommy had made the initial drive for the line and Darren was next to go and get over the line – or Dan as was attributed in the highlights subtitles!  Darren is a big lad, standing 6’9” and weighing 121kg (19 stone!)


Darren O’Shea in action in the centre of the maul later in the second half

Dave Kilcoyne had been prominent in the opening phases of the second half but he made way for Thomas du Toit (signed on a 3 month contract in October) to make his debut after 46’  Standing on the opposite sideline waiting to come on he looked like James Cronin which confused me initially!  He is a big man and got stuck in, at one stage trying to choke tackle 2 Treviso players on his own.


Thomas du Toit gets stuck in on his debut

Munster’s discipline let them down at key points as they conceded a series of penalties and with other replacements and some injury stoppages the pace of the game dropped. Billy Holland took over captaincy duties from Tommy O’Donnell who left with a dead leg. Jean Kleyn on his return from injury replaced Dave Foley who was himself making his return from injury giving plenty of second row options for the coming games!


Billy Holland took over the captaincy when he replaced Tommy

It took until the 65th minute for the next score, this time Ronan O’Mahony was on the receiving end of another excellent pass from his outhalf after the Munster maul had sucked in the defenders and secured good field position. Just four minutes later Alex Wootton scored under the posts after an excellent break, making it an easy conversion for Ian Keatley who had come on to form a new partnership with Angus Lloyd. With the score at 41-3 we were hoping for a half century scoreline but it was not to be. However there was time for another try – this time it was excellent play from Robin Copeland who charged forward off the the scrum to put Ronan O’Mahony away.


Ronan O’Mahony scored two tries and was heavily involved in the third try finished by Andrew Conway

Ronan nearly got in for a third but ran out of space. When he passed the ball back before going into touch, another debutant, Sammy Arnold was held back. This won a final penalty for Munster and a chance to finish with a flourish but the maul was disrupted and the opportunity to break the 50 point mark was lost.

Munster XV: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam (Wootton 57), Sammy Arnold, Jaco Taute, Ronan O’Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal (Keatley 66), Duncan Williams (Lloyd 66); Dave Kilcoyne (du Toit 46), Rhys Marshall (Scannell 61), John Ryan (Archer 61); Dave Foley (Kleyn 54), Darren O’Shea; Jack O’Donoghue, Tommy O’Donnell – capt. (Holland 52), Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Thomas du Toit, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland, Angus Lloyd, Ian Keatley, Alex Wootton.

Treviso – J Hayward; M Tagicakibau, T Iannone (D Odiete 43), A Sgarbi (c), L Sperandio (A Pratichetti 57); I McKinley, T Tebaldi; A De Marchi (F Zani 57), L Bigi (D Giazzon 49), M Zanusso (T Pasquali 49 HIA); F Gerosa (R Santamaria 48), M Van Vuren (F Conforti 63); M Lazzaroni, F Ferrarini, M Barbini.

After the recent full houses it was a quiet afternoon in Thomond with no-one on the north or south terraces but those who braved the cold had an opportunity to get the first glimpse of some new players including Sammy Arnold at 13, Thomas du Toit at loosehead and Angus Lloyd at scrumhalf and to welcome Dave Foley and Jean Kleyn back from injury. Rory Scannell was in Dublin, on standby in case Jared Payne did not pass a late fitness test, which shows how far he has progressed since breaking into the Munster team just about 12 months ago.


Beltran visiting from Spain at his first ugy game, with Mark, Imelda and George

In the absence of Kevin, Imelda did a great job leading us off in “The Fields of Athenry” in the second half. Imelda had also presented the MRSC flag team with a new bag to store the flags in between games, her original creation showing a bit of wear and tear after over 5 seasons!


The new and the old flag bags!

Tony declared that the lack of a TMO had sped up the game considerably, as the first half only took 43 minutes from start to finish. You would miss the big screen, especially for the action replays and to enjoy seeing the scores from different angles. There were two cameras there so the highlights should be posted later in the week. I will share the link here and on my facebook page when available.  I have saved all the photos I took at the game there also.  The official photographer’s pictures can be seen here


I love the facial expression on the Treviso player as he looks to take on Rhys Marshall

Match report from The42.ie


Top of the table after 9 rounds with the 2nd best points difference & # tries scored – a huge improvement on last season.

Last week while I did not have a rugby blog to write, I did have the more difficult challenge of writing a eulogy for my mother who sadly passed away the previous Wednesday. I wanted to do her justice and to thank her for all her support over the years. While she never sat down to read this blog she did enjoy hearing my stories about who I met or the nice comments I got! Mam was the inspiration behind my signing up for the creative writing course as she encouraged me to write up my Nepali memoirs – she had enjoyed (and kept) my letters home from my two years stay there in the 90s. It was that course which lead to my starting the WTView blog. It was nice to be amongst friends today to enjoy the distraction of a game, and to dedicate this one to her. Rest in peace Mam.


24 comments on “The WTMO was in fine voice: Munster: 46 – Treviso: 3

  1. Deepest sympathy on your mother’s death. R.I.P.

  2. God bless your ma. Love your posts. Will be at Leicester in a few weeks. Aee you there maybe
    Phil in Leamington

  3. Gail
    Sorry to hear of your Mums passing And well done on writing thus weeks blog in the circumstances . Ar dheis de go raibh a h-anam dilis.

  4. Another fine match proving that pride in the jersey is stitched into the fibre of this squad. Fortress Thomond is being reclaimed. It is a special honour to deliver the eulogy for your mam. Are dheis De go raibh a hAnam.

  5. From Twitter:
    Conor: another great read!
    Brian: Excellent review. Thank you for posting it and yes, it was a pity more weren’t there. Twas cold in East Stand!!
    Kate: Great to read as usual, esp as there was no TV coverage. So sorry to hear abut your Mum. May she RIP
    Ian: as always a good read. Pics slightly marred by my glum, dour face in one ;).
    Sorry to read about your mum.
    Rob: fantastic read as always Gayl. We’re sorry for your loss. See you at the next home game! #SUAF

  6. Sorry to hear about the loss of your mother RIP.
    Always enjoy reading your blogs as you truly have a gift with words and for painting a scene. Unfortunately due to shift work I couldn’t go but am looking forward to Tigers in 2 weeks. Thank you for setting the scene so brilliantly for all who read your blogs. Take care of yourself.

    • Thanks so much Anne. All those years of letter writing – before we had internet and mobile phones – helped hone my writing skills and it is great to know that people enjoy reading my updates and it helps them visualise the scene. Should be a much bigger crowd there for the Tigers game and a good atmosphere for a key game.

  7. Another great piece, even without the instant-reply board to assist ya!! Love reading the blow-by-blow account, filling in the missing bits whenever I happen to be looking the wrong way!! Your mum didn’t know what she missed and I am sure she’s as proud as punch of you and your achievements.

  8. Thank you Gayl for your report. Feel sorry for your lost. See you for Leicester away game.

  9. So sorry for your loss, Gayl.

  10. Thanks Gayl for comprehensive review, great to see Munster top Pro12 after 7 try rout of Treviso. Your Mum Eileen is now in the arms of an angel Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis. With 67,000 hits & growing WTView heaven knows the spirit of your mum and Munster Rugby is alive and well. See you in Thomond Park for the Tigers match.

    • Thanks Tony. Mam will be remembered in the #8MassesForNumber8 initiative along with those others we have loved and lost. Yes another good win and the strong defence has given us a great points difference, a great improvement over last season. With our internationals to return the team selection for the Tigers game should be a good but genuine headache!

  11. Gayl please accept my sympathies on the death of your mother. I’m sure you have everybody’s support at a time like this.

    Another excellent blog in what must have been trying circumstances. Looks like we are building a bit of strength in depth at last.

    • Thank you Jim. It has been very supportive to see all the kind messages from my readers. Yes it is great to have such competition especially in the pack. Our scrum has been so good all season, regardless of who was selected and it bodes well for the tough tests ahead

  12. Deepest sympathy to you and your family Gayl. Thanks for another great blog another great win and 5 points. Hopefully we can get another good result on Friday to take us into Europe on a high. I think we will get a better performance at Leicester than the last one.

    • Thank you Peter. She’ll be sorely missed, especially by Dad after 55 years together but on the other hand wasn’t it great to have that long? Yes the Leicester games will be good battles again but we have a better defence, pack and backline so bring it on!

  13. Deepest sympathy on the death of your Mam R.I.P., take care of yourself

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