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Late Jennings try sees Connacht Eagles fight back to draw with Munster 'A'

The hosts were 12 points behind heading into the final 15 minutes.

Connacht's Peter Sullivan and Roman Salanoa of Munster.
Connacht's Peter Sullivan and Roman Salanoa of Munster.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Connacht Eagles 24

Munster ‘A’ 24

A LATE SHANE Jennings try saw Connacht Eagles claim a 24-24 draw with Munster ‘A’ at the Sportsground today.

Both sides played some lovely rugby at times, with Connacht building up a healthy lead before Munster fought their way back into the contest, only for the momentum to shift again in the final quarter.

The Eagles weathered some early Munster pressure to take the lead when Dylan Tierney-Martin drove over from close range, with Conor Fitzgerald adding the extras.

Munster went down to 14 men when Calvin Nash was yellow carded for an intentional knock-on, and Connacht took full advantage as Diarmuid Kilgallen got over in the corner to push the hosts’ lead out to 12-0, with Connacht doing well to work the ball out to the winger after a powerful maul was stopped just short of the line.

However the game turned on its head after Connacht lost Oran McNulty to a yellow card.

Jake Flannery kicked a close-range penalty to get the visitors on the scoreboard, before the out-half’s clever cross-field kick allowed Calvin Nash dart over for Munster’s first try, with Flannery kicking the conversion.

It didn’t take long for Liam Coombes to add Munster’s second, finishing a fine move which saw Munster quickly move the ball across the pitch following a well-worked lineout. Flannery again added the extras to put Munster 17-10 ahead. 

Munster carried that momentum into the second half and bagged a third try when Nash crossed for his second of the afternoon, showing good pace after some excellent work by Jack Crowley, with Flannery again nailing a tough conversion. 

Connacht clawed back the lead when Stephen Kerins showed smart footwork to break through a narrow gap off the back of a maul, with the try converted by the influential Fitzgerald, leaving the score at 24-17 heading into the closing stages.

And Connacht levelled the scores with one of the last plays of the game. A great burst by Peter O’Sullivan got the Eagles up the pitch before the ball was recycled wide to Shane Jennings, who had the pace to sprint clear and dot down in the corner.

That score gave Connacht an opportunity to win the game, but Fitzgerald dragged his conversion across the posts and wide.

Scorers:

Connacht Eagles: Tries: Tierney-Martin, Kilgallen, Kerins, Jennings; Cons: Fitzgerald (2).

Munster A: Tries: Nash (2), Coombes; Cons: Flannery (3); Pen: Flannery.

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Connacht Eagles: O McNulty; P Sullivan, B O’Donnell, C Forde, D Kilgallen; C Fitzgerald, C Reilly; C Ward, D Tierney-Martin, D Robertson-McCoy; C Prendergast, C Booth; D Byrne, S Masterson (captain), A Papali’i.

Replacements: D Adamson, E de Buitlear, C Kenny, D McCormack, O McCormack, S Kerins, S Jennings, H Gilvarry, J Dunne.

Teams:

Munster A: D Sweetnam; C Nash, A McHenry, J Crowley, L Coombes; J Flannery, P Patterson; L O’Connor, D Barron, K Knox; C Hurley, J Daly; T O’Donnell (captain), S Buckley, A Kendellen.

Replacements: R Marshall, R Salanoa, E Coughlan, C Phillips, S French.

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey chat deteriorating player-referee relationships, perception vs reality with Ireland, initiation songs, a potential ‘home’ Lions tour, and this weekend’s interpros:


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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