Date Time Competition Season
26 November 2022 7:35 pm United Rugby Championship 2022/23

Match Report

Munster find their feet to secure bonus point win

Munster ended their losing streak with a bonus point win over provincial rivals Connacht, on a windy night on the banks of the Shannon in Limerick.

It was tough, it was physical, it was at times scrapy, but a result that Munster will be happy to have got, the bonus point the cherry on the cake, having lost their last two ties in the competition.

Two tries in each half were enough to see off a ruthless Connacht side who threw everything at them, but the Munster voices reverberated around Thomond Park to inspire the hosts to victory.

Jack Carty may have been having difficulties from the tee this season, but he settled the nerves with an early penalty to move Connacht 3-0 ahead after a cagey opening nine minutes on Shannonside.

The lead would not lost long however, the swirling wind in Thomond might have got under Joey Carbery’s restart, forcing a knock on in the process, Munster controlled the scrum and a smart dash at the back by Craig Casey saw him break clear, he offloaded to Calvin Nash to cross in the corner and score his first try at the home of Munster rugby, the wind catching Carbery’s conversion attempt as Munster moved 5-3 ahead after 11 minutes.

Momentum looked to be with Munster as they searched for another score, Connacht did well to absorb the pressure and pin them back to their own half, it would be this pressure that resulted in Connacht getting their opening try, Munster looked to play their way out from the back, Mike Haley looked to pass to Carbery, but Byron Ralston kept the pressure on to intercept right near the Munster line to cross. Carty’s conversion had them five points ahead 10-5, in a very entertaining but nervy 27 minutes on Shannonside.

Like two heavyweight boxers dancing around the squad circle for 12 rounds, the two teams were forward and back with one another for the opening half, Munster would land a right hook as they notched a second trey minutes from the end of regulation time, on his first start in the URC Roman Salanoa powered over as the Munster pack laid the charge from a close range lineout, the prop doing enough to touch down, again Carbery missed the extra’s the weather hindering the hosts in their home venue, honours even at 10-10 as the sides went in for the break.

Into the second half and it remained deadlocked in the early exchanges, Carberry produced a magic piece of skill to break clear past the Connacht defence like Moses parting the red sea, but he was hit hard by John Porch after chipping the on rushing fullback before he would be sin binned for taking out the Munster fly-half, the visitors would not be undone as they turned possession over after Munster opted to kick for touch.

A game of turnovers and penalties, both teams laying siege to the others line, but after Carty tackled John Hodnett, Munster had another chance to kick for touch near the Connacht line, this time they won the lineout and the pack did what they do best drive for the line, Connacht putting everything in their way, but the large frame of John Ryan bulldozed over for their third try, this conversion fro Carbery was a lot closer and he made no mistake to move Munster 17-10 ahead after 59 minutes.

The try looked to ignite the flame in Munster, as they started to take control of the tie, forcing Connacht back not allowing them to clear the lines and forced a penalty after they failed to roll away after 63 minutes, a clever lineout routine by Niall Scannell saw Munster yet again drive for the line, with the hooker at the back shepherding the ball over the whitewash, Carbery’s boot making it a 14 point lead, 24-10 as Munster found their rhythm.

Down but far from out Connacht kept the pressure on Munster, complacency is key and substitute scrum half Kieran Marmion found a kink in the armour of the Munster defence to cross for their second try, ending a drought of scores since the 27th minute, he set up a nervy ending in Thomond, as Carty made it 24-17 with the conversion with six minutes left to play.


15Mike Haley 22 Full-Back
14Calvin Nash Winger 11'
13Antoine Frisch Centre
12Rory Scannell Centre
11Shane Daly Winger
10Joey Carbery Fly-Half 59', 66'
9Craig Casey Scrum-Half
1Josh Wycherley 17 Prop
2Diarmuid Barron 16 Hooker
3Roman Salanoa 18 Prop 36'
4Jean Kleyn 19 Lock
5Tadhg Beirne Lock
6Peter O’Mahony 20 Flanker
7John Hodnett Flanker
8Alex Kendellen 23 No. 8
16Niall Scannell 2 Hooker 65'
17Jeremy Loughman 1 Prop
18John Ryan 3 Prop 58'
19Edwin Edogbo 4 Lock
20Jack O’Donoghue 6 Flanker
21Patrick Patterson Scrum-Half
22Jack Crowley 15 Full-Back
23Gavin Coombes 8 Flanker


15John Porch Full-Back 48'
14Byron Ralston 22 Winger 26'
13Thomas Farrell Centre
12Bundee Aki Centre
11Alex Wootton Winger
10Jack Carty Fly-Half 27'
9', 73'
9Caolin Blade 21 Scrum-Half
1Denis Buckley 17 Prop
2Dave Heffernan 16 Hooker
3Finlay Bealham 18 Prop
4Josh Murphy 20 Lock
5Gavin Thornbury 19 Lock
6Cian Prendergast Flanker
7Conor Oliver Flanker
8Jarrad Butler 23 No. 8
16Shane Delahunt 2 Hooker
17Peter Dooley 1 Prop
18Jack Aungier 3 Prop
19Niall Murray 5 Lock
20Oisin Dowling 4 Flanker
21Kieran Marmion 9 Scrum-Half 73'
22Conor Fitzgerald 14 Fly-Half
23Paul Boyle 8 Flanker

Past Meetings

(Round 4)
20 - 11
United Rugby Championship
Dexcom Stadium

Connacht v Munster

(Round 9)
10 - 8
United Rugby Championship
Dexcom Stadium

Connacht v Munster

(Round 4)
20 - 18
United Rugby Championship
Thomond Park

Munster v Connacht

(Round 2)
31 - 7
Women's Senior Interprovincials
Virgin Media Park

Munster v Connacht

(Round 14)
20 - 17
Thomond Park

Munster v Connacht

(Round 11)
10 - 16
Dexcom Stadium

Connacht vs Munster


Thomond Park
Thomond Park, Limerick City, County Limerick, V94 PD28, Ireland

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.