Munster ‘A’ – 13/01/2017

24Munster 'A'

16Doncaster Knights

7:00 pm · January 13, 2017

The Knights made the long trip to Cork and Bandon RFC the face Munster ‘A’ for the second time in as many weeks but were unable to reverse last weekend’s result as the hosts booked their places in the quarter finals with a 24-16 victory.

In bitterly cold conditions the Knights were unable to turn around 17-9 deficit following two quick Munster tries shortly before the interval.

After a cautious start it was the Knights who broke the deadline on seven minutes when Dougie Flockhart successfully slotted a scrum penalty moments after Tyson Lewis got agonizingly close to crashing over in the corner. The wingers effort was cancelled out moments later however as the Knights failed to roll away at the break down and Te Aihe Toma opened his account with an on target penalty.

Despite the cold Munster played with the same tempo and intensity as they had at Castle Park a week earlier and often looked dangerous when able to put width on the ball. Despite this Flockhart doubled the Knights lead on the twenty-minute mark following a profitable post line out attack.

This was as good as it got for the Knights who were forced to defend for rest of the first half as the hosts produced an impressive second quarter. Several Munster attacks were thwarted just inches from the try line due some valiant individual shows of defence; notably from Tyson Lewis, Sean Scanlon and Will Owen.

Eventually, however, the resistance was broken and the visitors registered their first score through winger Stephen Fitzgerald. After a concerted stint in Knights territory and a handful of fails attempts space was made out wide for the Ireland U20s flyer to sprint home. Despite an unorthodox strike, Toma’s conversion from the touchline bisected the uprights to put Munster up by four points.

The hosts were quickly back on the attack following the restart but good defensive work in centerfield by Dave Nolan forced a penalty and relieved some of the pressure; albeit momentarily. Having initially held the upper hand at scrum time the Knights pack started to stutter towards the half and, after Fitzgerald very nearly capitalized on a wayward Andy Bulumakau pass, a solid scrum from five metres out created the platform for Cian Bohane to smash home under the posts. Toma’s conversion made it 17-10 and the half time whistle was blown.

The second half started at quite a steady pace the Munster attacks continued but the Knights seemed better able to contain them. Both sides will be critical of their handling when reviewing this tie as in the bitterly cold conditions several opportunities were lost due to dropped balls ad forward passes.

The hosts arguably created the better of the limited genuine attacking threats that were created however the Knights did have chances. Some good line out play set off a series of seemingly endless phases before a wide pass to the open Flockhart was judged forward. Moments later Lloyd Hayes very nearly got over the line after two chips kicks ahead but narrowly lost out as home fullback David Johnston grounded possession in goal.

With five minutes left to play Munster confirmed victory as home scrum half John Poland scarpered over from close range having got his side within a couple of metres of the Knights line moments before with a darting run at a quickly taken tap penalty; Toma’s extras made it 24-9.

The Knights refused to roll over and produced what was arguably the try of the game with the last play. Simon Humberstone kicked an inch perfect cross field kick to Andy Bulumakau who was able to knock it backwards before retaining possession. The winger then set off on a mazy run and got into the home 22m before finding Sam Edgerley in support who touched down for his second try against Munster in as many weeks. Flockhart slotted the conversion to make the final score 24-16.

The Knights will look to end their cup campaign on a high next Saturday as we welcome Rotherham Titans back to Castle Park for, what will be, the Knights final British and Irish Cup tie of the season. Kick of 14:00.


Match Statistics

Munster A; 15) David Johnston, 14) Calvin Nash (Alan Tynan 16’), 13) Alex McHenry (Dave McCarthy 71’) 12) Cian Bohane, 11) Stephen Fitzgerald, 10) Te Aihe Toma, 9) John Poland, 1) Brian Scott (Liam O’Connor 75’), 2) Kevin O’Byrne (Vincent O’Brien 75’), 3) Stephen Archer (Rory Burke 75’), 4) John Madigan (Fineen Wycherley 68’), 5) Darren O’Shea, 6) Dave O’Callaghan, 7) Conor Oliver (John Foley 69’), 8) Gavin Coombes.

Replacements; 16) Vincent O’Brien, 17) Liam O’Connor, 18) Rory Burke, 19) Fineen Wycherley, 20) John Foley, 21) Dave McCarthy, 22) Alan Tynan.

Tries; Fitzgerald 31’, Bohane 40’, Poland 77’

Conv; Toma 31’, 40’, 77’

Pens; Toma11’

Knights XV; 15. Sean scanlon, 14. Dougie Flockhart, 13. Andy Bulumakau,12. Lloyd Hayes, 11. Tyson Lewis, 10. Simon Humberstone, 9. Ben White (Sam Edgerley 60’), 1. Richard List (Jack Bergmanas 69’), 2. Harry Allen (Dave Nelson 49’), 3. Colin Quigley, 4. Matt Challinor ©, 5. Dave Nolan, 6. Latu Makaafi, 7. Will Owen, 8. Jarad Williams.

Replacements; 16. Jack Bergmanas, 17. Dave Nelson, 18. WillGriff John, 19. Glen Kenworthy, 20. Jack Ram, 21. Dec Cusack, 22. Sam Edgerley

Tries; Edgerley 80’

Conv; Flockhart 80’

Pens; Flockhart 8’, 21’, 53’

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