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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019

Hayes bows out as Munster cruise to win over Connacht

Munster cruised to an easy win over beleaguered Connacht at Thomond Park, as John Hayes made his final appearance for the province.

Image: Inpho

MUNSTER KEPT UP the pressure on Leinster and the Ospreys with an easy 24-9 win over Connacht in the RaboDirect Pro12 at Thomond Park on St. Stephen’s Day.

It was the final match in Munster colours for the legendary John Hayes, retiring at the age of 38.

It took a while for the home side to click into gear, with Ian Keatly twice missing penalties in the opening 13 minutes, but he finally found his range with two kicks before the 24 minute mark.

Niall O’Connor, so impressive despite Connacht’s stuttering recent form, halved the arrears on 27 minutes but the match was effectively ended as a contest before half-time.

First Sean Scanlon and then Tomás O’Leary went over for Tony McGahan’s side, much to the delight of the Limerick support, with Ian Keatley converting the former’s effort.

O’Connor missed a penalty attempt before the break to make it a miserable half for Connacht, who trailed 18-3.

Kyle Tonetti entered the fray for Connacht when the match resumed and O’Connor subsequently grabbed his second penalty of the game. It was not long, however, before Keatley did likewise to restore the 15 point advantage.

The duo swapped further kicks before the 60th minute to leave the score at 24-9, the end of the game petering out in a series of substitutions and messy play.

As it happened: Leinster -v- Ulster >

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