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The Player Ratings From Munster's Thrashing Of Connacht In Thomond Park

The Player Ratings From Munster's Thrashing Of Connacht In Thomond Park
By James Carroll
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That's a wrap for interpro derbies this season.

Munster and Connacht's closing clash in Thomond Park was an ill-disciplined and error-strewn affair which eventually saw Munster thrash a second string Connacht side 39-13.

Munster head coach Johann van Grann emptied his international reserve for the clash as CJ Stander captained the side, whilst their back three was made up of Simon Zebo, Andrew Conway and Keith Earls.

Connacht head coach took an entirely different approach with two crucial European Challenge Cup games and the Six Nations looming, he chose to rest many of his stars.

Ultan Dillane, Bundee Aki and Kieran Marmion, all left out of the match day squad which allowed Peter McCabe, Caolin Blade and Eoin Griffin to make a start.

To the action, Munster scored the first try of the evening through lock Darren O'Shea after some good efficient work from the Munster pack and centre Chris Farrell in Connacht's 22 allowed O'Shea to bulldoze his way over the line.

Munster got their second try of the game when Conway was quickest to get to a Keatley grubber kick ahead of covering O'Halloran. A third try quickly followed and what a try it was, Keatley creating space for himself in midfield before passing to the oncoming Conway whose beautiful skip pass found the Earls charging down the left wing to touch down unopposed.


Conor Murray got Munster's fourth and fifth tries with a two cute snipes from the base of the ruck, meters from Connacht line.


15. Simon Zebo - 7

A quiet night for Zebo. Showed flashes of brilliance with a couple of grubber kick's and was rock solid defensively. Undoubtedly he would have loved to score a try in his last interpro match as a Munster player, but it wasn't meant to be.

14. Andrew Conway - 8

Missed his first tackle, knocked on his first ball, but when the winger is sent into space, he can be devastating. He showed all his hunger and desire when he got his hand's on the ball ahead of Connacht's O'Halloran to score Munster's second try of the game, he followed that up with a beautiful skip pass to the returning Earls for his try. Magnificent again.


13. Chris Farrell - 8

It was clear from the outset that he was eager to impress. It was Farrell's hard yard's that were crucial in setting up Munster's first try. He had a colossal hit on Jack Carty in the first half but overall Farrell was the tone setter for Munster's impeccable defensive display.

12. Rory Scannell - 7

Beautiful skip pass to send Conway down the right wing. Himself and Keatley are slowly but surely building up a superb understanding of each other. Scannell must be kicking himself taht the competition for places in Ireland's midfield is so fierce.

11. Keith Earls - 9

Barely got a sniff until midway through the second half as the Limerick man almost lit up Thomand Park with an incisive break from inside their half. Scored a beautiful try and Munster's third. Superb return to action. Joe Schmidt, take note.


10. Ian Keatley - 9

Keatley is playing at a consistency that every Munster fan had been longing since his arrival. Controlled the game from start to finish with some smart passing and a flawless display from the tee.

9. Conor Murray - 8

Was penalised for holding onto the ball inside Connacht's 22 at the start, that was followed by loose pass behind his back line. Regained his composure admirably to dictate the Munster pack before scoring Munster's fourth and fifth try of the match. A class act.

1.Dave Kilcoyne - 8

Work rate is sensational for a front row forward. Kilcoyne might have felt he needed a big performance, and he delivered, excellent throughout.


2. Rhys Marshall - 6

Lost two of his 10 line-out's which will undoubtedly annoy him, but the hooker had a decent outing. Munster's forward's at the breakdown were superb, and he was party to that good work.

3. John Ryan - 6

Penalised for a deliberate knock on early in the first half, Ryan made five tackles throughout the game and his scrummaging was outstanding. So all in all, a decent outing for the prop.

4. Jean Kleyn - 7

Kleyn is quickly becoming a real leader within the Munster pack. He will be disappointed that some of the line-out's he called were lost but that can be fixed.


5. Darren O'Shea - 8


Scored his second try for the province and the first of tonight's game. O'Shea should be thrilled with his performance as he made 10 tackles. Unbelievable statistics by a lock forward!

6. Jack O'Donoghue - 8

A superb effort from O'Donoghue. His work-rate was phenomenal, and this was highlighted by the fact he made 11 tackles. A lot of his work may have gone unnoticed but O'Donoghue was phenomenal tonight.

7. Conor Oliver - 9

Impressive outing for the Dubliner. Constantly available to run with the ball but he was an animal in defence for the men in red, making 15 tackles. Oliver was awarded man of the match.


8. CJ Stander - 8

Sneakily went through the front door of a ruck, then chipped the ball ahead to gain valuable territory, was a particular highlight of the first half for Stander. On the stroke of half time the Munster captain was dispossessed meters from the Connacht line which he will be disappointed by, but that didn't affect him, as he put in a dominant display, making 13 tackles.



15. Tiernan O'Halloran - 5

Quiet game for O'Halloran. He couldn't find that inch of space where he could hurt Munster but was caught out when Keatley grubbered a ball through, he didn't deal with it and it cost his side dear, as Andrew Conway touched the ball to give Munster a healthy lead on the scoreboard

14. Niyi Adeolokun - 6

Roasted Conway in the first minute of the game. The ball came down his channel frequently and he was efficient as he could have been, but ultimately he could not unlock the Munster defence. A decent outing.

13. Eoin Griffin - 7

Crucial interception to stop what looked like a near certain try after Rory Scanell sent Conway down the right wing. Griffin was probably Connacht's most impressive back tonight, but a tough game overall.

12. Pita Ahki - 6

Showed flashes of brilliance with ball in hand but that was as good as it got for the Connacht centre. A couple knock-on's while trying offload, or when attempting to fling the ball to a teammate in contact. A day to forget for Ahki.

11. Matt Healy - 6

Healy had been flying prior to the interpros but he never really settled into the match tonight, a poor kick at the start of the match that went dead, resulting in a Munster scrum back in Connacht's half. He was penalised for a high tackle on Conway later in the second half.

10. Jack Carty - 6

Another fly-half in the Irish ranks playing with real consistency. Nailed his first kick from right hand touch line. However, his influenced wained as Connacht's pack were slowly but surely broken down but Carty is having a superb season. Hopefully he can lead them to glory in the European Challenge Cup this season.

9. Caolin Blade - 6

Decent outing for Kieron Marmion's understudy. Blade was constantly sniping in and around the ruck and Munster's defence but to no avail. Connacht's pack constantly on the back foot didn't help the scrum half but he played admirably.

1. Peter McCabe - 6

Surprisingly Connacht's front row played quite well considering the dominance of Munster's pack. McCabe made six tackles tonight even if he was helpless in preventing the Munster tries. Connacht's scrum wasn't embarrassed either so he should take plenty of positives from tonight's performance

2. Tom McCartney - 7

A workmanlike performance from McCartney. His scrummaging was solid but he will be disappointed to lose a three of his own line-out's. Work rate is phenomenal, making 11 tackles tonight while also managing to bag himself  a consolation try for with only minutes to go.

3. Conor Carey - 6

Another one of Connacht's front row that should take certain positives from tonight's game; Scrummaging was solid, he managed to make five tackles considering Carey had been run off his feet.

4. Quinn Roux - 4

The lock was lucky not be sent off for his dump tackle on Keith Earls midway through the first half, instead he received a yellow for his troubles. Roux struggled to impose himself all game and his tackle on Earls portrayed all of his frustration

5. James Cannon - 5

Sloppy knock on when Connacht were beginning to build some pressure on Munster midway through the first half while also losing three balls in the line-out. A disappointing performance.

6. Cillian Gallagher - 6

A tough out for the Sligo man in what was only his fourth appearance in the green jersey. Unfortunately for him, Connacht's back row was dominated by Munster from start to finish but Gallagher didn't make any glaring mistakes, he even set up McCartney for his try late on. A good learning curve for the young man.

7. Jarrad Butler - 6

Some nice touches from the open-side who was hugely physical throughout and constantly looking to offload in the tackle. Butler was the standout back rower for his side, making 11 tackles. One to watch over the rest of the season for sure.

8. John Muldoon - 5

Tough night for the Connacht captain, on a couple of occasion's he was guilty of knocking on the ball and conceding two turnovers on top of that. To compound a tough day at the office for the captain, Muldoon was substituted with 25 minutes remaining.

See Also: The Player Ratings From A Sensational Leinster Victory Against Ulster

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