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Penney pleased as Hanrahan fires

Sat, 28 Dec 2013 15:52
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Munster head coach Rob Penney was full of praise for flyhalf JJ Hanrahan, who scored all the points in his side's Pro12 victory over Connacht on Friday.

Hanrahan, 21, was making his ninth Pro12 appearance of the season and he scored his third try of the campaign, as well as five penalties and a conversion in a 22-16 victory.

The former Ireland Under-20 youngster has caught the eye with a series of impressive performances for Munster, but he was not at his best the previous week against the Scarlets.

As a result, Penney rang the changes - making 14 in total - but stuck by Hanrahan, and it paid dividends as Munster stretched their lead at the top of the Pro12 table.

"He didn't have the best of games last week [against Scarlets], but he is an assiduous, conscientious young man who is trying hard," Penney told the Irish Examiner.

"He has good people around him, [coaches] Simon Mannix and Ian Costello are working hard with him and it is bearing fruit, he is a talented kid who's making huge progress.

"JJ was terrific, we all know he's a prospect and where we want him to get to, he is getting better and better.

"I am pretty pleased [with the result] given the conditions and the competitive nature of Connacht-Munster games historically. We dominated for large parts and deserved our victory. They came to disrupt us and play and they deserved their [losing bonus point] result at the end."

Dan Parks kicked Connacht into an early 6-3 lead before Hanrahan dotted down and converted, adding another penalty before the break for a 13-6 half-time lead.

Three further penalties from Hanrahan made the game safe but Connacht secured a losing bonus point thanks to David Heffernan's last-minute try, converted by Parks.

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