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Player ratings - Munster

OPINION: Munster’s reign as URC champions came to an abrupt end as they lost at home to the Glasgow Warriors.

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Conceding an early try against the run of play would put Munster on the back foot, and they simply could not recover.

Philip Bendon rates the Munster players:

1. Jeremy Loughman – 6
Enjoying a back-and-forth battle with Zander Fagerson, the Irish international had a good showing at scrum time to go with his usual dynamism around the pitch.

2. Niall Scannell – 5
A pretty average showing from the experienced hooker who cost his team an opportunity late in the first half to attack by not clearing a ball from the base of a well-set ruck. Whilst not solely his fault, the line-out struggled once again today, and he didn’t bring a huge amount to the attack.

3. Stephen Archer – 7
Ageing like a fine wine, the 36-year-old has reinvented himself under the current coaching staff. Immovable in the scrum, it is his work in the loose that has been most impressive, as he does a lot of the hard yards in the close quarters. Highlighting his confidence on the ball, the big tighthead deputised as scrumhalf on numerous occasions.

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4. Fineen Wycherley – 4
Left with big shoes to fill as RG Snyman dropped to the bench and Thomas Ahern was made unavailable, he struggled at line-out time and conceded some unnecessary penalties, which put his team under pressure.

5. Tadhg Beirne – 8
When big moments were needed, the captain stood up with his trademark turnovers coming to the fore. Unfortunately, his efforts were undone by his lock partners, who both struggled to have any impact.

6. Peter O’Mahony – 6
At his controversial best as he got stuck into Matt Fagerson in the early exchanges, the 34-year-old remains the heartbeat of Munster. As the battle heated up and Munster felt like they were running into a brick wall, the veteran had seen key moments of gamesmanship that got his team some much-needed momentum.

7. John Hodnett – 8
Powerful in the carry, Hodnett punched holes in the otherwise stingy Warriors’ defence. Utilising his skill set by placing him in the backline at line-out time, he operated as a third centre from strike plays.

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8. Jack O’Donoghue – 5
Industrious throughout and remained committed to carrying into heavy traffic despite getting little joy in terms of yards.

9. Craig Casey – 6
Bombarded with constant breakdown pressure, he adapted reasonably well to get the ball away from the ruck.

10. Jack Crowley – 6
Tasked with handling a bombardment of direct runs from Sione Tuipulotu, he was brave but did get bowled over on a few occasions. In attack, he probed the Warriors’ defence but had little joy as he was routinely met by a brick wall. He kept trying, but there were few options around him to make any real impact.

11. Simon Zebo – 5
Strong in the air and made his tackles but had little influence in terms of attack as he struggled to get into the game as much as he normally would when playing fullback.

12. Alex Nankivell – 8
The fulcrum from which the Munster backline rotates with his line-busting ability, soft hands, and defensive nous makes him the complete package. While his red card at the end was disappointing, it made little difference, as Munster were facing an uphill battle to salvage a result.

13. Antoine Frisch – 5
Recovered well from a poor first half to have some good moments in the second half. His loose pass to Nankivell handed the Warriors the opening try against the run of play, and Munster struggled to recover from there. Overall not his best game in the red shirt before he joins Toulon.

14. Shane Daly – 7
Munster’s unheralded hero, Daly, relishes the freedom to roam around the park in Mike Prendergast’s attacking system. Popping up all over the park, Daly is the perfect safety net for Crowley as a willing carrier or kick chaser. Defensively, he routinely makes the correct read and has the physicality to make an impact.

15. Mike Haley – 6
He had a few nice moments as a link player in the wider channels, but most of his work was done in defence as he dealt with a peppering of high balls, which he, by and large, handled well.

REPLACEMENTS:

16. Diarmuid Barron – 5
He secured up the line and had some good carries, but not enough to get his team over the line.

17. John Ryan – 4
In conjunction with Jager, he had a tough outing in the scrum as he failed to get to the level of Loughman.

18. Oli Jager – 4
Really struggled at scrum time against Oli Kebble and brought very little in the loose.

19. RG Snyman – 3
A very poor showing from the Springbok, who had several uncharacteristic mistakes with knock-ons and a very poor penalty concession on the halfway line when Munster was in a purple patch. Putting John Ryan under pressure with an unnecessary offload ended the contest.

20. Gavin Coombes – 6
Brought some impetus from the bench as a carrier, but his biggest impact was around the breakdown, where he had a crucial turnover immediately. You can’t help but feel that he should have started.

21. Conor Murray – 6
Brought a level of calm to a chaotic breakdown but had very little front foot ball from to which work with.

22. Sean O’Brien – 4
Joining Snyman in having basic errors, O’Brien struggled to get to the pitch of the game when he entered the fray and was found wanting defensively as he was caught narrow.

23. Alex Kendellen – 5
Only had ten minutes to have an impact but didn’t really have any influence in a lost cause.

@RugbyPass

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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