Munster headed west to the Sportsground for their second Pre-season friendly against Connacht off a back of a 45-7 win over London Irish at Irish Independent Park last week.
The first half was a scrappy affair between the two sides, Munster’s James Cronin received a yellow card after an accumulation of penalties. Things didn’t improve for Munster in the minutes that followed, Connacht scrum-half Caolin Blade dotted down for the first try of the game which was converted by Conor Fitzgerald.
Just three minutes after the Blade’s try, Munster’s Darren O’Shea saw yellow for taking out Jarrad Butler, leaving Munster down to 13 men on the half-hour mark.
Munster did gain some composure ahead of halftime when Hooker Kevin O’Byrne had a decent break where he then would lay the ball off to Rory Scannell who touched down in the corner. Munster out-half JJ Hanrahan missed the conversion leaving things 7-5 at halftime to the home side.
Connacht started the better of the two sides in the second-half with tries from their Captain Jarrod Butler and Matt Healy saw them build a sizeable lead of 16 points after just 45 minutes of play. The sides traded scores in the 10 minutes that followed when Munster winger Shane Daly and Connacht’s Kieran Marmion scored tries leaving things at 28-12 on the hour mark.
Clever play from Peter Robb stretched Connacht’s lead to 23 points, replacement Conor Dean added the extras. Munster rallied however and tries from Rhys Marshall and Alby Mathewson put Munster within 11 points approaching fulltime.
Munster picked up their third yellow card of the afternoon when Liam O’Connor was penalised at the breakdown, and just minutes later Kieran Marmion grabbed his second try taking Connacht to a 40-24 lead in Galway.
Munster’s Shane Daly scored the game’s final try which was converted by Tyler Blendaayal. Connacht the victors on a scoreline of 40-31.
Munster will kick off their Guinness PRO14 season next with a home game against Dragons at Thomond Park on Saturday, September 28th (Kick-off 3pm)