Sounds like I missed a cracker as I tuned into the 2 Lens on Limericks Live95FM for coverage of the game from my hotel room in Iceland. The northern lights may not have made an appearance but the southern stars sure left everyone with a smile on their face heading into the break for the Autumn Internationals.
Seven tries tells of a dominant display with a mean defence, paying tribute to the work done by Jacques Nienaber. We will miss seeing him prowl the sidelines in front of us on the terrace, shouting warnings, instructions and encouragement to the players in addition to tending to their injuries. Maybe he will still be in there for the next home game in early December, in a support role for new coach Johann van Graan but in case not I want to pay tribute to Jacques and Rassie for their contribution to Munster over the past 17 months. The benefits will continue to be felt long after their departure, be that in November or December. I wish them well in their future careers as they are part of the extended Munster family.
The other lens available is from the super photographs of Daryl Feehely. The full collection can be viewed on https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfeehely/albums/72157687964900961
In the first half Daryl captured JJ Hanrahan making this break to set up the first try, finished off by Rory Scannell who continues his excellent form.
JJ converted 7/7 on the night, an impressive stat given that most were from out wide. Below Daryl captures Rory finishing off the move.
Another superfluous to Irish team duty this week, did the chants of Ze-bo ring out around the ground as he continues to add to his record number of tries for Munster?
I had read of a super pass putting Jack O’Donoghue in for his try and this wonderful photo captures that pass from Darren Sweetnam in the second half. Nice one Daryl and Darren! Great to see Jack on the scoreboard while Darren also got on the scoreboard later in the second half.
Sam Arnold had an injury disrupted début season at Munster but had finished the year strongly, featuring for the A team in their successful British and Irish Cup campaign. On Friday he came off the bench to score a brace in his 21 minutes.
Replacement hooker Kevin O’Byrne also got onto the scoresheet with this try captured again by Daryl.
Munster: Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell (Sam Arnold ’59), Alex Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, Duncan Williams (James Hart ’52); Liam O’Connor (James Cronin ’49), Rhys Marshall (Kevin O’Byrne ’60), Stephen Archer (Brian Scott ’65); Jean Kleyn (Darren O’Shea ’49), Billy Holland; Jack O’Donoghue (Ian Keatley ’71), Chris Cloete (Mark Flanagan ’64), Robin Copeland.
Dragons: Will Talbot-Davies; Ashton Hewitt, Adam Warren, Jack Dixon (Pat Howard ’59), Jared Rosser; Angus O’Brien (Arwel Robson ’65), Charlie Davies (Sarel Pretorius ’51); Thomas Davies (Luke Garrett ’50), Gerard Ellis (Liam Belcher ’45), Lloyd Fairbrother (Brok Harris ’50); Joe Davies (Scott Andrews ’65), Rynard Landman; Aaron Wainwright, James Benjamin, James Sheekey (Ben Roach ’50).
Highlights don’t seem to be on the Pro14 YouTube channel yet but are embedded in their tweet. I believe TG4 also showed highlights on Saturday but I am stuck in Iceland due to a storm and can’t find them via my phone.
The crowd sounded in good voice, no wonder given the try-scoring exploits they were enjoying. I could hear “The Fields of Athenry” ring out at one stage through the radio on my phone. God bless free wi-fi!
It was nice to hear from Anne and Mark after the game with their first hand feedback
Were you there? Any highlights or anecdotes to share?
I look forward to finding some highlights on line when I return home to enjoy the action. I am also keen to view the début of new flanker Chris Cloete who made a great first impression by all accounts.
Official photos https://munsterrugby.ie/gallery/gallery-munster-49-6-dragons/
As the game was not televised live the stats on ESPN this week are a bit patchy:
Coverage from the papers:
The Irish Times match report
From the Irish Independent: thoughts of Rassie: thoughts and match report: https://m.independent.ie/sport/rugby/munster-rugby/thirsty-munsters-sevenup-adds-fizz-to-the-erasmus-farewell-celebration-36288439.html