Mike Sherry grabs two tries as Munster triumph in Cork
Declan Kidney’s London Irish score two late tries in friendly encounter
Munster’s Darren Sweetman in action against London Irish at Musgrave Park in Cork. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Munster 32 London Irish 28
It’s a new season, there’s a new 3G pitch at Musgrave Park and Friday night’s pre-season friendly produced plenty of good rugby and a brace of tries from Mike Sherry.
Of course there were few of the iconic stars on view – it’s too early for that – and both coaches, Munster’s Johann van Graan and former Munster boss Declan Kidney for the visitors used everyone in their respective extended squads.
On an individual basis, Darren Sweetnam’s first-half display for Munster was well received; so too were a couple of clever touches and industry from visiting wing Topsy Ojo.
The home side led 20-14 at the break. The irony was that both opening tries came from mistakes on either side. Munster, having ruled territory and possession for the opening 10 minutes, coughed up a score through a badly timed pass in midfield. Matt Williams took advantage and Greig Tonks added the conversion for a 7-0 lead after 11 minutes.
The impressive Sweetnam took advantage of a London Irish error three minutes later, and on 19 minutes Brian Scott put Munster in front when he charged over from close in – all after another piece of good wing play from Sweetnam.
JJ Hanrahan kicked Munster into a 13-7 lead with a drop goal and Dan Goggin got in for a 35th minute try that Hanrahan converted. But that 20-7 lead was reduced on the stroke of half-time when Oliver Hoskins scored and Theo Brophy Clewes added the extras.
Sherry stormed over for a 56th-minute try after a period of second-half pressure and Ian Keatley kicked the conversion to give Munster a deserved 27-14 lead, and they sealed the deal five minutes from the end when Sherry grabbed another mauled try.
MUNSTER: S Fitzgerald; C Nash, D Goggin, R Scannell, D Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, J Hart; J Loughman, K O’Byrne, B Scott; F Wycherly, D O’Shea; D O’Callaghan, T O’Donnell (capt), G Coombes.
Replacements: C Gleeson, C Parker, B Holland, J Kleyn, M Sherry, S O’Connor, S Daly, L Coombes, M Haley, D Kilcoyne, J Daly, N Cronin, J Stafford, I Keatley, A McHenry.
LONDON IRISH: G Tonks; T Ojo, M Williams, F Mulchrone, L McLean; T Brophy Clews, B Meehan; G Reid, D Porecki, O Hoskins; B Maddison, S de Chaves; J McNally (capt), M Northcote-Green, M Rogerson.
Replacements: S Fainga’a; H Elrington, P du Plessis, T Paulo, S Twomey, B McKibbin, S Myler, J O’Sullivan, I Curtis-Harris, J Schatz, O Hassell-Collins, B Campbell, R Knight, S Steele, S O’Hagan.
Referee: F Murphy (IRFU)