O’Mahony runs in three tries for Munster
Wing's blisterign second half helps Rob Penney's side see off London Irish at Musgrave Park
Munster’s Cian Cohane and Jonathan Fisher of London Irish compete for possession during the pre-season friendly at Musgrave Park in Cork. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Munster 27 London Irish 13: Ronan O’Mahony ran in a second-half hat-trick for Munster as JJ Hanrahan came off the bench to help the province grind out victory at Musgrave Park. But a serious-looking knee injury to BJ Botha could have thrown a dampener on Munster’s efforts as he limped off minutes after his second-half introduction.
Hanrahan bagged his second try of the pre-season to give the home side their second win after Ian Humphreys looked likely to lead London Irish the spoils.
Gerard Ellis touched down 11 minutes after the restart to put Irish in control, but after Rob Penney emptied the Munster bench, the extra power proved crucial and O’Mahony completed his hat-trick in the 80th minute.
Former Ulster outhalf Humphreys kicked London Irish into a 3-0 lead after Munster infringed across the offside line in defence, and Munster had to wait until a minute before half-time to draw level, when Ian Keatley elected to take on a slightly more difficult kick than the one he has turned down earlier.
Seven minutes after the restart Humphreys pushed Irish ahead with a simple kick after Munster came in the side of a ruck, but four minutes later they surged further ahead when Evans dived over from close range after former Leinster centre Eamonn Sheridan charged through the defence from a slick set-piece move.
Humphreys also converted to give London Irish a 13-3 lead, but that advantage was halved five minutes later when replacement CJ Stander lead a maul to the line, which created the space for O’Mahony to score out wide.
Casey Laulala nearley sent Niall Ronan over in the corner with ten minute remaining, but he was prevented from touching down by a super covering tackle.
But from the resultant five-metre scrum Hanrahan side-stepped over the line for his second pre-season try and slotted the conversion and picked out O’Mahony with a deft chip late on to clinch an unlikely win.
MUNSTER: D Hurley; R O’Mahony, C Laulala, C Bohane, J Murphy; I Keatley, C Sheridan; J Ryan, D Varley, S Archer; D Foley, I Nagle; Dave O’Callaghan, S Dougall, P Butler. Replacements: J Cronin for Ryan (h-t), BJ Botha for Archer (h-t), Donncha O’Callaghan for Foley (h-t), J Coughlan for Butler (h-t), D Williams for Sheridan (44), M Sherry for Varley (52), CJ Stander for Dave O’Callaghan (52), N Ronan for Dougall (52), JJ Hanrahan for Keatley (52),B Holland for Nagle (52), R Scannel for Hurley (70), J Holland for Murphy (70), J Ryan for Botha (80).
LONDON IRISH: T Ojo; M Yarde, G Armitage, E Sheridan, A Fenby; I Humphreys, T O’Leary; L Halavatau, D Paice, H Aulika; G Skivington, B Evans; K Low, O Treviranus, J Fisher. Replacements: D Danaher, for Low (6-16 blood), N Rouse for Skivington (27), J Stevens for Fenby (39), J Hagan for Aulika (h-t), G Ellis for Treviranus (h-t), P Phibbs for O’Leary (h-t), H Aulika for Hagan (44), A Fenby for Ojo (57), S Geraghty for Humphreys (62), J Stephens for Paice (65), J Harris for Halavatau (65), J Sinclair for Evans (65).
Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)