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Munster

FULL-TIME
39     13

Connacht

Pro14 | Thomond Park
19:45 (GMT) | 06-01-2018
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Join Rugby 365 next week Saturday for more Pro 14 action as the Kings host the Cheetahs in a South African derby at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth
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FULL TIME: MUNSTER 39-13 CONNACHT
  • 80
Connacht are looking to finish the game strong as they draw in the Munster defence with some strong carries. Munster manage to bundle Connacht into touch just outside the Munster 22. That will be the game. Congratulations to Munster on a well deserved 39-13 victory over Connacht in this Pro 14 round 13 clash
  • 78
Craig Ronaldson sends the ball sailing through the poles with the conversion from the Munster 22 metre line
  • 77
Connacht with plenty of skill on attack as an offload from the base of the ruck goes to ground. Connacht get a boot to the ball and chase well inside the Munster 22. Connacht gather the loose ball and quick hands down the wing sees Tom McCartney dot down for the try
  • 76
Tom McCartney drives Jack O'Donoghue back in the tackle inside the Munster half of the field. Munster get quick ball from the breakdown and are quick to recycle the ball as they look to counter attacking inside their own half
  • 73
Tom McCartney finds his jumper with an accurate throw at the lineout for Connacht just outside the Munster 22, Connacht put in the chip kick over the top of the Munster defensive line but Munster manage to track back and gather the loose ball before they send the ball into touch just outside the Munster 22. Connacht have the attacking lineout
  • 70
Ian Keatley converts the try for Munster from the Connacht 22 and Munster now lead 39-6
  • 69
Munster tap and go from the penalty inside the Connacht 22 and srumhalf Conor Murray has his second try of the game as he dots down for the five pointer
  • 68
The referee says no try as there was not sufficient evidence that the ball has been grounded. Munster had an advantage for a previous infringement from Connacht and they are awarded the penalty inside the Connacht 22
  • 67
Christiaan Stander picks and goes from the base of the ruck just short of the Connach try line and looks to have placed the ball on the line. There are plenty of hands underneath the ball and the referee has asked the TMO Try or no try
  • 64
Ian Keatley converts the try for Munster from the Connacht 22
  • 63
Try time! Munster jump up and win the ball at the lineout on the Connacht five metre line. Munster get the driving maul going and Connacht bring Munster to ground just short of the try line. Conor Murray shows good strength as he picks up the ball at the base of the ruck stretches his hand out and dots the ball on the line
  • 62
Quinn Roux concedes the penalty for Connacht and he is also shown yellow and sent to the sin bin for ten minutes after a tip tackle on Keith Earls inside the Connacht half. Munster set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder on the Connacht five metre line
  • 60
Ian Keatley sends the ball sailing wide of the poles from the conversion attempt just outside the Connacht 22 metre line on the angle. Munster lead 25-6
  • 59
Munster strike off first phase possession. Munster go wide from the scrum on the Connacht ten metre line and the ball goes through the hands of Ian Keatley and Andrew Conway on the wing before wing Keith Earls puts the finishing touches on the attacking move and runs down the wing before he dots down for the five pointer for Munster
  • 58
Matt Healy knocks the ball forward in the tackle on the Connacht ten metre line and Munster have the attacking scrum
  • 56
Ian Keatley gets the attention of the Connacht defence with a powerful carry which sees him draw three tacklers just outside the Connacht 22 before he is brought to ground.
  • 54
Ian Keatley keeps his radar with an accurate kick at poles as the ball sails through the poles from the conversion on the Connacht 22
  • 53
Fantastic link-up play and communication from Ian Keatley and Andrew Conway sees Conway dot down for a try for Munster. Keatley sees space behind the Connacht defensive line and puts in the grubber kick for winger Andrew Conway to chase and dot down inside the Connacht 22
  • 52
Connacht knock the ball forward and Munster will have the attacking scrum just outside the Connacht 22
  • 50
It looks good and it;s over! Ian Keatley sends the ball sailing through the poles with an accurate kick at poles from the penalty kick at poles inside the Connacht 22
  • 49
Connacht concede the penalty for an infringement inside their 22 metre line and Ian Keatley lines up the kicking tee for Munster
  • 48
Connacht jump up and win the ball at the lineout inside the Connacht 22. Caolin Blade makes the exit kick for Connacht with a box kick and Conor Murray wins the ball in the air for Munster just outside the Connacht 22
  • 47
Connacht jump up and compete at the lineout on halfway but Munster manage to win the ball before they pin Connacht in their own half with a tactical touch finder inside the Connacht 22. Connacht have the defensive lineout
  • 46
Connacht concede the penalty for collapsing the scrum just outside the Munster 22 and Ian Keatley sets the attacking lineout for Munster with a touch finder on halfway
  • 45
Caolin Blade finds Niyi Adeolokun with a flat pass. Niyi Adeolokun with plenty of physicality and pace takes the ball into contact before Munster bring him to ground just past the Munster ten metre line
  • 43
Niyi Adeolokun jumps up and competes well for the ball in the air. The ball comes back on the side of Munster. Munster look to counter attack as play gets loose but they can only manage to throw the ball into touch and Connacht have the lineout just inside the Connacht half
  • 42
Connacht win the lineout against the throw on halfway and Connacht break up field before Munster manage to track back and bring Connacht to ground deep inside the Munster half. Connacht concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown and Ian Keatley sets the attacking lineout for Munster with a touch finder on the Connacht ten metre line
  • 41
Ian Keatley gets the second half going for Munster with a deep kick into the Connacht 22. Niyi Adeolokun claims possession for Connacht from the restart. Connacht go through the phases with some pick and goes and carries before they make the clearance with a touch finder just short of halfway. Munster have the attacking lineout

Half Time

  • 40
Connacht concede the penalty for a high tackle just inside their own half and Munster are looking to finish the half strong as Ian Keatley sets the attacking lineout for Munster with a touch finder on the Connacht 22. Munster win the ball at the lineout but Connacht make the turnover at the breakdown and put boot to ball as they send the ball into touch. That will be the final play of the half. Munster lead Connacht 10-6 at the break. Stay tuned for the second half which will follow shortly
  • 39
Connacht and Munster both exchange kicks up field as they look to play the territory kicking game and Munster decide to hold onto possession and test the Connacht defence with some powerful carries on the Connacht ten metre line
  • 38
Connacht look to attack the line as they vary their attack but the ball travels forward in the pass and Munster have the defensive scrum deep inside their own half
  • 36
Munster concede another penalty for an infringement at scrum time deep inside the Connacht half. Connacht set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder on the Munster ten metre line
  • 33
Ian Keatley and Niall Scannell exchange passes down the wing and put Andrew Conway into space with quick hands. Conway shows plenty of pace and goes on a powerful run before he attempts to find his support player with an inside pass. Connacht make the interception and make the exit kick with a box kick up field. Connacht win the ball in the air before they are brought to ground
  • 32
James Cannon takes his eye off the ball and knocks the ball forward and Munster are awarded the scrum just inside the Munster half of the field
  • 30
Ian Keatley has his kicking boots on tonight as he sends the ball sailing through the poles from the kicking tee from the penalty just outside the Connacht 22
  • 29
Connacht are blown up for going off their feet at the breakdown. Ian Keatley lines up the kick at poles for Munster from just outside the 22
  • 28
High fives all around for Connacht at scrum time as they sends Munster tracking back at the set-piece inside the Connacht 22, the referee awards Connacht the penalty and they set the lineout with a touch finder on the Connacht ten metre line
  • 27
Munster knock the ball forward inside the Connacht 22 and Connacht have the defensive scrum
  • 24
Jack Carty has both the distance and the direction as he sends the ball sailing through the poles from the penalty kick at poles close to the Munster ten metre line
  • 23
Munster concede the penalty for not releasing the ball at the breakdown outside their own 22 and Jack Carty will line up the kick at poles for Connacht from close to the Munster ten metre line
  • 22
Niall Scannell concedes the penalty for Munster for a high tackle inside the Connacht half. Connacht set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder just short of the Munster 22
  • 20
Ian Keatley adds the extra two points for Munster with the conversion from just outside the Connacht 22 on the angle
  • 19
Try time! Munster pile in at the ruck and secure themselves quick ball on the Connacht five metre line before lock Darren O'Shea shows plenty of athleticism with ball in hand as he crashes over for the try
  • 18
Christiaan Stander draws in the Connacht defence as he takes the ball into contact. Munster recycle the ball and send play down the wide channels. Connacht are making all the tackles at the moment
  • 16
Good link-up play from Munster among their forwards and backs as they link up well just outside the Connacht 22 with some powerful carries before the ball is played wide
  • 15
Munster are awarded the penalty for dominance at the scrum on their own ten metre line. Munster are looking to strike from first phase possession as they set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder just short of the Connacht 22
  • 13
Munster win possession at the scrum on their own five metre line and Conor Murray makes the exit kick for Munster with a touch finder on the Munster ten metre line. Connacht have the attacking lineout
  • 12
The scrum goes to ground and the referee asks for a reset. Munster have another five metre defensive scrum
  • 11
Connacht jump up and win the ball at the lineout inside the Munster 22. Connacht get the rolling maul going but Munster do well to disrupt the maul and manage to hold the ball up off the ground. Munster are awarded the turnover and they will have the defensive scrum on their five metre line
  • 9
Tiernan O'Halloran puts boot to ball and chases his grubber kick but Munster manage to dot the ball down on their own line and Munster will restart with the 22 metre drop out
  • 8
Munster are blown up for not releasing the ball at the breakdown inside the Connacht 22 and Connacht set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder just inside the the Munster half
  • 7
Munster win the ball at the scrum on halfway and they play the ball down the wide channels in the direction of Keith Earls. Connacht manage to close down the space and bring Earls to ground before Munster throw a wayward pass and are sent back tracking into their own half
  • 5
Connacht jump up and win the ball at the lineout just inside the Munster half before they send the ball wide with plenty of width to their attack. Munster manage to make the tackles and are equal to the task on defence
  • 4
High fives all around for Connacht at scrum time as they are awarded the penalty for a dominant scrum just outside the Connacht 22. Connacht set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder just inside the Munster half
  • 2
Jack Carty raises the flags with an accurate penalty kick at poles from outside the Munster 22 on the angle. Connacht lead 3-0
  • 1
Niyi Adeolokun shows plenty of pace and physicality on the ball before he is brought to ground. Munster concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown and Jack Carty will strike for poles for Connacht from outside the Munster 22 on the angle
  • 0
Referee David Wilkinson blows his whistle and Jack Carty gets the game underway for Connacht with a deep kick which travels just short of the Munster 22. Conor Murray gets a first touch of the ball from the kick-off and makes the exit kick for Munster with a box kick
  • -5
David Wilkinson is our referee. Sean Gallagher and Nigel Correll will assist him. Our TMO is Kevin Beggs
  • -10
Hello and welcome to Rugby 365's live commentary of this Pro 14 round 13 clash between Munster and Connacht from Thomond Park in Limerick
Mc munster ed
Munster
Mc connaght ed
Connacht
START LINE UP
  • 15 Simon Zebo
  • 14 Andrew Conway
  • 13 Owen Farrell
  • 12 Niall Scannell
  • 11 Keith Earls
  • 10 Ian Keatley
  • 9 Conor Murray
  • 8 Christiaan Stander
  • 7 Conor Oliver
  • 6 Jack O'Donoghue
  • 5 Darren O'Shea
  • 4 Jean Kleyn
  • 3 John Ryan
  • 2 Rhys Marshall
  • 1 David Kilcoyne
RESERVES
  • 23 Darren Sweetnam
  • 22 Bill Johnston
  • 21 Duncan Williams
  • 20 Peter O'Mahony
  • 19 Robin Copeland
  • 18 Stephan Archer
  • 17 James Cronin
  • 16 Mike Sherry
START LINE UP
  • 15 Tiernan O'Halloran
  • 14 Niyi Adeolokun,
  • 13 Eoin Griffin
  • 12 Pita Ahki
  • 11 Matt Healy
  • 10 Jack Carty
  • 9 Caolin Blade
  • 8 John Muldoon
  • 7 Jarrad Butler
  • 6 Cillian Gallagher
  • 5 James Cannon
  • 4 Quinn Roux
  • 3 Conor Carey
  • 2 Tom McCartney
  • 1 Peter McCabe
RESERVES
  • 23 Darragh Leader
  • 22 Craig Ronaldson
  • 21 James Mitchell
  • 20 Paul Boyle
  • 19 Gavin Thornbury
  • 18 Finlay Bealham
  • 17 Conan O'Donnell
  • 16 Shane Delahunt
Mc article pro14 trophy 800

Preview: Pro14, Round 13

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:45

RETURN OF THE NEWCOMERS: The Pro14 has plenty of storylines to offer in Round 13, with more Welsh and Irish derbies on the fixture list.

At the same time, the South African teams return to action after their mid-season break.

The festive derbies drew bumper crowds with close to 150,000 attending during Rounds 11 and 12 across Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Round 12 also saw a number of nail-biting finishes with Cardiff Blues v Scarlets, Leinster v Connacht and Zebre v Benetton going
right down to the final play of the game.

This weekend the northern teams will look to cement their places before returning to European action while the Cheetahs and Southern Kings will face each other in back-to-back games after their trips Italy & Scotland.

What's at Stake

The Southern Kings return to Pro14 action with a trip to Scotland to face Edinburgh.

Edinburgh will be buoyed by their Derby win over Glasgow Warriors in Round 11 and the Conference B side will be keenly aware that they could close the gap on third-placed Ulster. Although the Kings have been improving, Richard Cockerill's men are in form and chasing their 10th win out of 12 games in all competitions.

Champions Scarlets entertain Dragons, having shown some serious grit in the previous Derby games with Ospreys and Cardiff Blues to stay on top of Conference B. Scarlets are just two points ahead of 2nd-placed Leinster and have not lost in their last 16 home games in the Championship. Dragons, however, will provide plenty of muscle in this contest having performed well in their past two Derbies despite those losses and if Wayne Pivac's team take their eye off the ball then the visitors may well spring a shock.

On Saturday, Benetton takes on the Cheetahs, after two wins over Zebre. This out of Conference fixture will have an impact on both teams with the hosts trying to stay in touch with Edinburgh, who currently occupy the Champions Cup play-off place in Conference B, while the South Africans have some ground to make up on Munster who is second in Conference A. If Benetton can get a win here it will be their third consecutive Championship victory, a feat they last achieved in 2012.

Munster takes on Connacht at Thomond Park and the home team need to regain momentum after losses to both Leinster and Ulster in recent rounds. The men in red have lost all four interprovincial Derbies in the Pro14 this season, including away to Connacht in the reverse fixture. History is against the Westerners with Connacht having won just two away Derby games in the history of the Championship, but Kieran Keane's team have improved over the past six weeks and they will draw inspiration from their 2015 victory at the Limerick ground.

Ospreys face Cardiff Blues in Swansea and this will an intense match-up between two sides will plenty to play for. Despite a slow start to the season, Ospreys can still make up ground to get into the Champions Cup play-off position. The Blues will be keen to qualify automatically and their current hold on fourth place would be enough to make it into the Champions Cup if the Cheetahs finish above them.

Pick of the Round Leinster v Ulster

This Conference B clash will have a bearing on the title ambitions of both teams with Leinster in second looking to stretch the gap between Ulster in third. After a record defeat to Connacht in Round 11, Ulster produced a record comeback against Munster in Round 12 and the stakes are high going into this game in Dublin.

Leinster have back-to-back wins over Munster and Connacht and need another victory here to keep on the heels of 1st-placed Scarlets. This promises to be a fiery affair with so much at stake for both teams and their players, who are eager to impress ahead of Europe and the Six Nations.

Top Performers - Round 12
* Tackles made: 34 Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
* Carries: 21 Bundee Aki (Connacht)
* Defenders beaten: 8 Charles Piutau (Ulster) / Bundee Aki (Connacht)
* Offloads: 7 James Lowe (Leinster)
* Breaks: 3 Multiple Players
* Metres made: 167 Matthew Morgan (Cardiff Blues)
* Turnovers won: 3 Max Deegan (Leinster)
* line-out steals: 1 Multiple Players

We look at all the Round 13 matches!

Friday, January 5

EDINBURGH v SOUTHERN KINGS
(Myreside Stadium, Edinburgh - Kick-off: 19.35; 21.35 SA time; 19.35 GMT)

Edinburgh's four-game winning run in all competitions ended with their 0-17 defeat to Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun on 30 December - the first time Edinburgh had been nilled in the Pro14 for over three years.

The Scotsmen's only defeat at home this season was when Benetton were the visitors in Round Three of the Pro14.

The Southern Kings have gleaned just four league points this season, gaining both a try bonus and a losing bonus in successive matches, at home to Ulster and Scarlets in November.

The Kings were defeated on their only previous visit to Scotland: 13-43 to Glasgow at Scotstoun in Round Seven.

The two sides have met once before, on 1 December in Port Elizabeth with Edinburgh victorious 48-21.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Stuart McInally (captain), 1 Jordan Lay.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Fenton, 17 Elliot Millar-Mills, 18 Matt Shields, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Viliame Mata, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Chris Dean, 23 Damien Hoyland.

Southern Kings: 15 Ntabeni Dukisa, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Martin du Toit, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Martinus Burger, 6 Eitel Bredenkamp, 5 Dries van Schalkwyk, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Tango Balekile, 17 Njabulo Gumede, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Lindokuhle Welemu, 20 Freddy Ngoza, 21 Gouws Rowan/Godlen Masimla, 22 Harlon Klaasen, 23 Masixole Banda.

Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Mike Adamson, Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)

SCARLETS v DRAGONS
(Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli - Kickoff: 19.35; 19.35 GMT)

Scarlets only loss since Round 3 of the Pro14 was 21-28 to Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on 2 December.

Scarlets have won their last sixteen home games in the Championship since Munster beat them at there in September 2016.

Dragons are without a win in the last seven rounds of the Pro14, although they did draw 32-all at home to Ulster on 1 December.

Dragons have not won away from home in the Championship since a trip to Treviso in March 2015.

Dragons only success over a fellow Welsh region in the Pro14 since 2013 was on a visit to Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day 2014.

Scarlets have lost only one of their last eighteen fixtures with Dragons in the Championship: 16-23 at Rodney Parade in September 2013 whilst Dragons only previous success on Scarlets soil since the regions were formed in 2003 was on their final visit to Stradey Park in September 2007.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Ioan Nicholas, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Aled Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens (captain), 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Rhys Jones, 23 Morgan Williams.

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Arwel Robson, 9 Dan Babos, 8 James Benjamin, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Cory Hill (captain), 4 Joe Davies, 3 Nicky Thomas, 2 Liam Belcher, 1 Luke Garrett.
Replacements: 16 Ellis Shipp, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Rynard Landman, 20 Robson Blake, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Jarryd Sage.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Andrea Piardi (Italy), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)

Saturday, January 6

BENETTON v CHEETAHS
(Stadio Monigo, Treviso - Kick-off: 14.15; 15.15 SA time; 13.15 GMT)

Benetton won both of their festive fixtures against near-neighbours Zebre but have not won three in a row in the Pro14 since December 2012.

The Italian's three home wins in the Championship this season were against Ospreys in Round 4, Southern Kings in Round Six and Zebre in Round 11.

Cheetahs have lost just twice since Round 2 in the Pro14, at home to Glasgow on 6 October and away to Connacht on 4 November.

Cheetahs beat Zebre 24-23 on their only previous visit to Italy in Round 7.

This is the two sides' first meeting.

Teams:

Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Luca Sperandio, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Marco Barbini, 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Whetu Douglas, 5 Dean Budd (captain), 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Nicola Quaglio.
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Cherif Traore, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Marco Fuser, 21 Sebastian Negri, 22 Edoardo Gori, 23 Ian McKinley.

Cheetahs: 15 Craig Barry, 14 William Small Smith, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Makazola Mapimpi, 10 Fred Zeilinga,  9 Shaun Venter, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nche, 18 Botha Tom, 19 Rynier Bernardo, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Adriaan Coertzen.

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Ireland)

OSPREYS v CARDIFF BLUES
(Liberty Stadium, Swansea - Kick-off: 15.15; 15.15 GMT)

Ospreys' 22-9 victory at Dragons on New Year's Eve ended a four-game losing run in the Pro14; in fact, Ospreys have won just twice in the Championship since the opening weekend and both were against Dragons.

Ospreys two Pro14 victories this season at Liberty Stadium were against Zebre in Round One and Dragons in Round Seven.

Cardiff Blues record in the last ten rounds of the Pro14 is an even won five, lost five.

Blues have won just twice away from home in the Championship this season, at Connacht in Round 4 and at Dragons in Round 11.

Blues won their most recent fixture against Ospreys 35-17 at Principality Stadium on 'Judgement Day V' in April to end an 11-game losing run to Ospreys in the Pro14.

Cardiff Blues only previous victory at Liberty Stadium in the Championship was on their very first visit in December 2005.

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Dan Evans, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Jeff Hassler, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Will Jones, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 James Hook, 23 Dafydd Howells.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Owen Lane, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Josh Turnbull, 4 Damian Welch, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Kristian Dacey (captain), 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 George Earle, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Matthew Morgan.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Dan Jones, Adam Jones (Wales)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)

ZEBRE v GLASGOW WARRIORS
(Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma - Kick-off: 16.30; 15.30 GMT)

Zebre's only victory since the end of September was 24-10 at home to Connacht in Round 10 in the Pro14.

The Italians have beaten a Scottish opponent just once since 2015: 19-14 against Edinburgh at Murrayfield in October 2016.

Glasgow Warriors only defeat in the Pro14 this season was by a single point to Edinburgh at Murrayfield on 23 December.

The Warriors have lost three of their last four away games in all competitions, but have not lost to an Italian opponent since Benetton visited Firhill in September 2011.

The two sides have met on ten previous occasions with Glasgow victorious in each instance.

Teams:

Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Rory Parata, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello (captain), 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Renato Giammarioli, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Maxime Mbandà, 5 George Biagi, 4 David Sisi, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Tommaso D’Apice, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Luhandre Luus, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Roberto Tenga, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Maicol Azzolini, 23 Ciaran Gaffney.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Nick Grigg, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Finn Russell, 9 George Horne, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley (captain), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Siua Halanukonuka, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Alex Allan.
Replacements: 16 James Malcolm, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Kiran McDonald, 20 Adam Ashe, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Brandon Thomson.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eddie Hogan-O'Connell (Ireland), Manuel Bottino (Italy)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

LEINSTER v ULSTER
(RDS Arena, Dublin - Kick-off: 17.35; 17.35 GMT)

Leinster have lost only once in any tournament since the end of September: 21-31 at Glasgow in Round Eight of the Pro14.

The Leinstermen have lost just once at home in the Pro14 since February 2015: 15-27 at the RDS Arena to Scarlets in last season's semifinal.

Ulster has lost just one of their last seven matches in all competitions: 16-44 to Connacht in Galway on 23 December, whilst their only victory away to a fellow Irish province since April 2015 was on a trip to Connacht in December 2015.

Leinster have lost only one of their last four fixtures with Ulster: 13-17 in Belfast last May.

The Ulstermen have won just once in fourteen previous visits to the RDS Arena: 22-18 in March 2013.

Overall the two provinces have met on 153 previous occasions with Leinster having the edge by 78 wins to 60 with 15 draws.

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Barry Daly, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Josh Murphy, 5 Scott Fardy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 James Tracy, 1 Jack McGrath (captain).
Replacements: 16 Seán Cronin, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 Noel Reid.

Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Johnny Stewart, 8 Jean Deysel, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Matty Rea, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Pete Browne, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Callum Black.
Replacements:  16 Rob Herring, 17 Kyle McCall, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Alan O'Connor, 20 Nick Timoney,  21 John Cooney, 22 Johnny McPhillips, 23 Tommy Bowe.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Joy Neville, Shane Kierans (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

MUNSTER v CONNACHT
(Thomond Park, Limerick - Kick-off: 19.45; 19.45 GMT)

Munster have lost their last two matches, both in the Pro14, at home to Leinster and away to Ulster. They have not lost three in a row in the Championship since December 2015.

Munster have lost all four matches they have played against fellow Irish provinces this season.

Connacht's 18-21 defeat to Leinster in Dublin on New Year's Day ended a three-game winning run in all competitions.

Connacht has not won away from home in the Pro14 since beating Edinburgh at Myreside on 7 April, whilst their only two wins away from home against a fellow Irish province in the history of the Championship were against Leinster in 2002 and Munster 2015.

Connacht has the slight edge in meetings between the two provinces leading by four wins to three in fixtures since the New Year 2015, prior to this Connacht had only beaten Munster five times in eighty years.

Teams:

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander (captain), 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Jack O’Donoghue, 5 Darren O’Shea, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Bill Johnston, 23 Darren Sweetnam.

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 John Muldoon (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Cillian Gallagher, 5 James Cannon, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Conor Carey, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Peter McCabe.
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Conan O’Donnell, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Gavin Thornbury, 20 Paul Boyle, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Darragh Leader.

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher, Nigel Correll (Ireland)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

Source: @PRO14Official

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Munster monsters dire Connacht

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 19:00

PRO14 MATCH REPORT: Munster demolished a very poor Connacht team, winning 39-13 in their Irish derby on Saturday.

Munster held a slender 10-6 lead ay the half-time break.

However, four second-half tries saw them race into a 39-6 lead - with a late consolation try all that Connacht could manage.

The first half was an even affair - with two penalties from Connacht's Jack Carty being outdone by a try for Darren O'Shea and five points from the boot of Ian Keatley.

But the second period was all Munster's - as Andrew Conway, Keith Earls and Conor Murray all crossed in a ruthless 16-minute spell.

Tom McCartney touched down late for the visitors, but it was a mere consolation as Munster banished memories of defeats to Leinster and Ulster with a domineering performance.

It took Connacht just three minutes to open the scoring in Limerick, with flyhalf Carty making no mistake with the boot.

Munster immediately fought back and almost had their first score but a run of multiple phases ended with a penalty against them just five metres out from the opposition line.

But the Red Army ended the first quarter powerfully, with a period of sustained pressure being highlighted first by Chris Farrell's midfield break and then O'Shea's unstoppable finish - Keatley adding the extras.

Connacht responded with another penalty for Carty, but Munster responded just after the half-hour with a similar effort from Keatley.

With the score at 10-6 at half-time, both sides poked and prodded after the break but were frustrated by several penalties either side of the halfway line.

On 51 minutes Keatley edged his side seven points ahead with a simple shot in front of goal, with Earls making a searing break from the restart that threatened another score.

The important second try came on 54 minutes with Keatley sliding the ball into the corner for Conway to get his fingertips to it in the nick of time.

With the score at 20-6 Munster looked to kill the game off and an excellent first-phase move delivered just that, with Conway pouring through the centre of the pitch and floating a pass out wide for Earls to touch down.

Things looked ominous for Connacht and they became even more so when Quinn Roux saw yellow for a tip-tackle on Earls, with Murray darting over from the next play.

Six minutes later and Murray repeated the trick, Connacht's furious defence did well to repel a host of forward drives on their tryline, but couldn't stop the scrumhalf as he pounced over to seal his double - leaving McCartney's late try unable to affect the result.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries:
 O'Shea, Conway, Earls, Murray 2
Cons: Keatley 4
Pens: Keatley 2

For Connacht:
Try:
 McCartney
Con: Carty
Pens: Carty 2

Yellow card: Quinn Roux (Connacht, 62 - foul play, spear tackle)

Teams:

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Christiaan Stander (captain), 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Jack O’Donoghue, 5 Darren O’Shea, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Bill Johnston, 23 Darren Sweetnam.

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 John Muldoon (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Cillian Gallagher, 5 James Cannon, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Conor Carey, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Peter McCabe.
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Conan O’Donnell, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Gavin Thornbury, 20 Paul Boyle, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Darragh Leader.

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher, Nigel Correll (Ireland)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

Source: @PRO14Official

Darren O'Shea (19min), Andrew Conway (53min), Keith Earls (59min), Conor Murray (63min), and Conor Murray (69min)
TRIES
Tom McCartney (77min)
Ian Keatley (20min), Ian Keatley (54min), Ian Keatley (64min), and Ian Keatley (70min)
CONVERSIONS
Craig Ronaldson (78min)
Ian Keatley (30min) and Ian Keatley (50min)
PENALTIES
Jack Carty (2min) and Jack Carty (24min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
Quinn Roux (62min)
 
 
VENUE Thomond Park
REFEREE David Wilkinson (Ireland)