Munster (W) 12 – 45 Barbarians (W)
An historic double header took place last Saturday as Munster’s men and women’s sides took on the Barbarians in exhibition matches.
The last time the club came to Thomand Park was in 2017 where their women’s team played their inaugural match against Munster Women.
It was the first meeting between the men’s teams however, but not the first time the Barbarian’s have played on Irish soil as they have faced the national team on previous occasions.
The women’s match kicked off at 2pm.
The Barbarians got off to the perfect start when they forced a penalty straight from kick-off which resulted in a first minute May Campbell. Elinor Snowsill converted to give the visitors an early lead.
Munster responded in quick fashion when an unselfish Kate Flannery teed up Stephanie Nunan to score their first try of the game, with Flannery also converting.
That was as good as it got for Munster in the first half as the Barbarians put on their own exhibition. Their domination was rewarded with an additional five tries to give them a 38-7 lead at the interval with Munster struggling to contain the BaaBaas.
The Barbarians picked up where they left off in the second half with an early seventh try through Vicky Fleetwood.
The game was over as a contest, but Munster did grab a second try when Chloe Pearse got on the end of a multiple phase play and crossed over to ease the deficit.
It was a thoroughly attacking game of rugby with neither side wanting to defend but Munster were unfortunately defeated with the score reading 45-12 at the finish.
Munster: Aoife Corey, Chisom Ugwueru, Alana McInerney, Stephanie Nunan, Stephanie Carroll; Kate Flannery, Muirne Wall; Róisín Ormond, Beth Buttimer, Eilís Cahill; Dorothy Wall (C), Clodagh O’Halloran; Brianna Heylmann, Jane Clohessy, Chloe Pearse.
Replacements: Ciara Farrell, Fiona Reidy, Gillian Coombes, Claire Bennett, Maeve Óg O’Leary, Abbie Salter-Townshend, Aoife O’Shaughnessy, Aoife Doyle
Barbarians: Elizabeth Goulden; Maria Magatti, Grace Steinmetz, Kate Alder, Megan Gaffney; Elinor Snowsill, Ailsa Hughes; Elizabeth Crake, May Campbell, Kathryn Buggy, Christiana Balogun, Eloise Blackwell, Beth Stafford, Vicky Fleetwood, Ciara Griffin.
Replacements: Joanna Kitlinski, Lindsay Peat, Ciara O’Connor, Kay Searcy, Ciara Cooney, Mary Healy, Patricia Garcia Rodriguez, Gemma Rowland.
Munster 52 – 35 Barbarians
Later that afternoon, the men’s team lined out for battle as Munster looked to draw the curtain on their pre-season with a victory.
The game started at a frantic pace with Diarmuid Barron opening the scoring for Munster with eight minutes on the clock, which was converted by Joey Carberry.
Graham Rowntree’s men doubled their lead shortly after through Carberry, but their lead was halved by a Nans Ducuing try and the Barbarians were back in the game.
Straight from the kick off Munster forced a penalty and kicked to the corner. From the resulting line out maul Brian Gleason got himself free and he powered over to make it 21-7.
Barbarians kept themselves in it and eventually made it a one score game when Aaron Shingler powered his way over from a line out maul.
With the final play of the half Barbarians levelled the scores at 21-21 when they worked the ball from one side of the pitch to the other and got Nans Ducuing in for his second try.
However, Munster kicked the second half off in style with three tries in the opening five minutes. They were later added by another through Josh Wycherly as he made the score 42-21 in Munster’s favour.
The Barbarians never gave up and when Munster couldn’t get the ball clear, Julien Dumora found some space and scored his first try and followed up with the conversion.
Another try apiece brought the scores to 47-35 but a moment of brilliance by Neil Cronin capped off Munster’s evening with their final try of the game as it finished 52-35.
An enthralling day at Thomand Park was the perfect ending to Munster’s pre-season as they prepare to defend their URC title with their campaign kicking off against the Sharks on the 21st of October.
Munster: Shane Daly; Shay McCarthy, Antoine Frisch, Rory Scannell, Calvin Nash; Joey Carbery, Ethan Coughlan; Josh Wycherley (Mark Donnelly, 57-69), Diarmuid Barron, Stephen Archer, Edwin Edogbo, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Jack Daly, Brian Gleeson.
Replacements: Fionn Gibbons, Ethan Coughlan, Tony Butler, Neil Cronin, Mark Donnelly, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Tom Ahern,
Barbarians Men: Nans Ducuing; Lucas Tauzin, Jean-Baptiste Dubié, Sofiane Guitoune, Toby Arnold; Julien Dumora, Jonathan Ruru; Rodrigue Neti, Kristian Dacey, Vadim Cobîlaș; Loann Goujon, Piula Faʻasalele; Baptiste Heguy, Aaron Shingler, Leone Nakarawa.
Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rob Evans, Tevita Tatafu, Josh Brennan, Giovanni Licata, Max Green, Damien Hoyland, Virimi Vakatawa