Munster debut for Cork's Alex Kendellen as Joey Carbery shines at Thomond Park

Leesiders Niall Scannell, Shane Daly and Gavin Coombes scored tries for the Reds
Munster debut for Cork's Alex Kendellen as Joey Carbery shines at Thomond Park

Munster’s Alex Kendellen made his debut as a sub against Scarlets. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Munster 28 Scarlets 10

ALL eyes were on Joey Carbery at Thomond Park as he made his first start for Munster in 14 months in their penultimate Pro14 game of the season against Scarlets, and he did not disappoint, giving a wonderful Man of the Match display.

Joey Carbery is presented with the Guinness PRO14 Player of the Match award by Billy Holland. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Joey Carbery is presented with the Guinness PRO14 Player of the Match award by Billy Holland. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Munster had to wait until the 19th minute to open the scoring, from number eight Gavin Coombes, with him scoring from a typical close-in drive after persistent Munster pressure on the Scarlets line.

The Scarlets were on the board soon after, with out-half Angus O’Brien slotting a 24th-minute penalty after a cheap penalty concession by Munster winger Shane Daly, but Daly made up for this within a minute with a superb try under the Scarlets posts, although the try was all about Carbery. 

He made an elusive 40m break right through the heart of the Scarlets defence and had all the time in the world to send his left wing away for the score.

Encouragingly, 20-year-old back row prospect Alex Kendellen came on in the 28th minute to make his Munster debut to become the latest Cork youngster to emerge from the Munster academy.

Scarlets blindside Aaron Shingler was then sin-binned in the 39th minute, and from the resultant penalty, the Munster maul did the damage, with hooker Niall Scannell crashing over to give Munster a 21-3 half time lead.

Niall Scannell scores a try. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Niall Scannell scores a try. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

The game got scrappy after halftime, but when replacement Scarlets second row Tevita Ratuva was yellow-carded Munster immediately capitalised, with another try scored off a maul in the 58th minute, this time by replacement hooker Kevin O’Byrne.

Scarlets got a late consolation score from Steff Evans, but it did not take the gloss off a night dominated by the performance of Carbery.

Scorers for Munster: Carbery (4 cons), Coombes, Daly, Scannell, O’Byrne (1 try each)

Scarlets: O’Brien (1 pen, 1 con), Evans (1 try)

MUNSTER: Haley; Nash, de Allende, Hanrahan, Daly; Carbery, McCarthy; Cronin, Scannell, Archer; Kleyn, Holland (c); Wycherley, O’Sullivan, Coombes.

Subs: Kendellen for Wycherley (28), Sweetnam, Loughman, Ryan and O’Byrne for Cronin, Archer, Scannell and Haley (51), Ahern for Kleyn (59), Crowley for Carbery (60), Patterson for Daly (65), Scannell for O’Byrne (67), Cronin for Scannell (76)

SCARLETS: McNicholl; Prydie, T. Morgan, Hughes (Capt), Evans; O’Brien, Blacker; Thomas, Marc Jones, Scholtz; Morgan Jones, Lousi; Shingler, J. Morgan, Kalamafoni.

Subs: Williams for McNicholl (42), Davies, Mathias, Jeffries for Thomas, Marc Jones and Scholtz (51), Ratuva for Morgan Jones (53), Cassiem for Shingler (59), Homer for Blacker (60), Asquith for T. Morgan (63)

Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU).

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