Andrew Conway dots down. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Sharks attacked

Andrew Conway makes scoring return as Munster make winning start to URC defence

Fired up Joey Carbery leads home side to victory over Sharks.

Munster 34

Sharks 21

ANDREW CONWAY CROWNED his first match since June last year by scoring his 50th try on his 150th appearance for Munster as he finally put his injury nightmare behind him.

Conway got over for Munster’s fourth try as the champions made a winning start to the defence of their URC crown with an accomplished performance at Thomond Park.

Munster led 21-7 at the break, having taken a quarter of the game to finally get through the Sharks defence when promising lock Edwin Edogbo got in for his first try for the province after good pressure.

Shay McCarthy, a late replacement for Calvin Nash, made a big impression on his debut on the left wing and was involved in several promising Munster moves in the opening half, while full-back Shane Daly was also to the fore.

Daly did superbly to deny Sharks an early try when he got back to tackle scrum-half Cameron Wright who had a clear run to the line.

antoine-frisch-celebrates-scoring-a-try-with-gavin-coombes-and-andrew-conway Antoine Frisch celebrates scoring a try with Gavin Coombes and Andrew Conway. Bryan Keane / INPHO Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

Munster’s second try was created by a fired-up Joey Carbery, who stepped inside to open the Sharks defence and managed to get the pass away in tackle for Alex Kendellen to set up hooker Diarmuid Barron to score.

Carbery was superb for Munster, dictating matters throughout on a welcome return to form, but the Sharks, with former Irish forwards coach John Plumtree in charge for the first time, hit back when out-half Curwin Bosch slit the home defence to set up Werner Kok for a converted try which cut the gap to 14-7.

United Rugby Championship / YouTube

But Munster got a big break just before the interval when Antoine Frisch chased his own chip and when both Marnus Potgieter and Wright failed to control the ball, the centre got the touchdown to lead 21-7 at the interval.

Carbery pushed the lead out with a penalty four minutes after the restart before Rohan Janse van Rensburg got over after Wright executed a 50:22 after blocking Carbery’s kick and then raced forward to take a quick throw and while Potgieter was initially stopped, the replacement centre was on hand to score.

joey-carbery Joe Carbery on the attack. Bryan Keane / INPHO Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

That left Munster 24-14 ahead going into the final quarter and moments after Conway had almost sent debutant McCarthy over on the right, he looped around to the other wing and was on hand to secure the bonus point and mark his return from injury in style.

Ethan Coughlan, making his first start, had to come back on when McCarthy was injured and he made it count when he scored Munster’s fifth try after being set up by Frisch.

Sharks had the final say when Aphelele Fassi got in under the posts but the Durban side left Limerick empty-handed as the champions started in style.


Scorers: Munster: Tries: Edogbo, Barron, Frisch, Conway, Coughlan. Cons: Carbery (3 from 5). Pen: Carbery (1 from 1)

Sharks: Tries: Kok, Janse van Rensburg, Fassi. Cons: Bosch (3).


Munster: Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Antoine Frisch, Rory Scannell (Alex Nankivell ’62), Shay McCarthy (Fionn Gibbons ’68, Coughlan ‘77); Joey Carbery, Ethan Coughlan (Neil Cronin ’70); Josh Wycherley (Kieran Ryan ’71), Diarmuid Barron (Scott Buckley ’68), Stephen Archer (John Ryan ’62); Edwin Edogbo (Tom Ahern ’55), Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (c), Alex Kendellen, Gavin Coombes (Brian Gleeson ’70).

Sharks: Boeta Chamberlain (Aphelele Fassi ’62); Werner Kok, Murray Koster (Rohan Janse van Rensburg ’40), Francois Venter (c), Marnus Potgieter; Curwin Bosch, Cameron Wright (Zee Mkhabela ’74); Ntuthuko Mchunu (Dian Bleuler ’70), Kerron van Vuuren (Dan Jooste ’70), Coenie Oosthuizen (Hanro Jacobs ’55); Emile van Heerden, Reniel Hugo; James Venter, Phepsi Buthelezi, George Cronje (Sikhumbuzo Notshe ’62).

Ref: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy).

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel