Johan van Grann was unaware that he had witnessed Munster’s best start to a season since 2008, and after the success of this Guinness PRO14 it did not matter to him. The important thing for the head coach is that he observes a team that is strong and deep in every success.
Yesterday’s 38-22 bonus point victory was Munster’s fifth consecutive victory. Extended their lead to eight points above Conference B. A game that put Scarlett in second place, with valuable points on the bank in the play-off semi-finals, eliminated Van Grann from his previous three attempts.
“We worked very hard for those five wins,” said Van Gran. “Some are better than others, but who I really enjoy is picking, and they’re gradually releasing our subs earlier than usual tonight. Everyone just wants to play, not just from the players.” It’s a real squad effort from the coaches and the management team. ”
The hat-trick from No. 8 Gavin Compes stands out from the crowd, with the West Cork native finishing first in his first three rows, advancing to the second and taking a quick tap and going five meters to the third.
The Man of the Match performance forced 22-year-old Van Gran to be included in the European Match Day squads. The first two rounds of next month’s Heineken Champions Cup pool action against Harlequins and Clermont.
Munster Bose pointed out a hungry group of young players, academy hopefuls and rookie pros, all making the most of opportunities with internationals from Ireland duty.
“It’s an encouragement to everyone,” said Van Gran. The team has been consistent for the past two years, with both seniors and academics working together each training session.
“The boys are very happy to have a continuum, and sometimes we have luds in certain positions on the national team and have a few long-term injuries, and the boys take advantage of their opportunities.
“There are a few, and Josh Witcherley has been quiet for a few weeks now, and he’s got some game time now with three loose heads injured; Diormoid Baron, Rice Marshall and Niall Schanell were injured, with the best examples being Gavin Cummus, Craig Casey and Ben Healy. They have been very good since the start of the season. ”
The first half effort from Coombs, Mike Haley and Kevin O’Brien was caught by a slow Ospreys counter-attack, with fullback Matt Protero home man Gallagher and Luke Morgan scoring in the opening six minutes.
Shortly afterwards, when Hannahhan changed the opening attempt, Rory Scannel added an extra to Haley’s effort before preparing the fly-half for Ben Healy in the 22nd minute. Healy once again took his chance through Aplomb and became the third goalkeeper to contribute to the scoreboard, perfecting from Kicking Tea. Munster took a 24-10 lead at half-time.
Three minutes after the resumption, Munster claimed their bonus point attempt, followed by another, both converting Healy, but a poor performance in the third quarter saw Ospreys substitute Hooker Davy try late from the lake and make a penalty try under the posts after the captain. Jack O’Donoghue sinned.
Van Gran was in philosophy. “Matching is one of our keywords. We didn’t finish the game as much as we could, but for my part, I wanted to give everyone game time. This is a weird time with this Covid-19. Whenever we get together it says ‘Listen, we are lucky to play rugby’.
It showed up again tonight with empty stands in Thomont Park. We lost our supporters, so much, it’s so quiet here, but we said, ‘Listen, all we can do is enjoy what we’re doing, and make a few people happy at home, and we can not wait to see Thomont Park fill up again. “
M. Haley; D. Sweetnam (D. Goggin, 65), R. Scanell, D. D. Allende, M. Gallagher; JJ Hanrahan (B Healy, 22), C Casey (N McCarthy, 59); J Cronin (J Wicherley, 54), K O Byrne (D Baron, 54), S Archer (J Ryan, 54); J Klein, F Witherley (B Holland, 63); J. O. Donog – Captain, T. O. Donnelly, G. Compass (J. O. Sullivan, 63).
J O Donog 74-End
M Protero; El Morgan, T. Thomas-Wheeler (S. Williams, 54), K. Williams, H. Dirxon; S. Myler, S. Venter (M. Aubry, 66); G Thomas (R Jones, 49), I Phillips (D Lake, 49), T Botha (M Fia, 49); A. Beard, B. Davis (R. Davis, 2); W. Griffiths, D. Lidiat – Captain, G. Evans (O. Kraknell, 46).
El Morgan 37-47 Replacement Not Used: J. Thomas.
Gianluca Gucci (Italy)