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WATCH: Controversial try helps Munster to emotional win over Connacht

Munster secured narrow victory over Connacht in the first interpro of the United Rugby Championsh...

Stephen Kisbey-Green
Stephen Kisbey-Green

21:34 16 Oct 2021



Munster secured narrow victory over Connacht in the first interpro of the United Rugby Championship on an emotionally charged night for the men in red.

On the day that they remembered the fifth anniversary of the passing of an Irish legend in Anthony 'Axel' Foley, Munster hosted Connacht in Thomond Park.

The first half was a fiery encounter, as neither side were willing to give anything away. Connacht were in the drivers' seat for much of the first half, with two penalties to keep them ahead for much of the half.

However, on the stroke of half time, Munster got on the board through a try from Chris Cloete, who capitalised on a cross-filed kick from Joey Carbery, which was toed on by Tadhg Beirne for Cloete to dive on.

While the try got Munster into the lead at half time, Rob Kearney and Tomas O'Leary in the Premier Sports studio were quick to point out that Tadhg Beirne may have been offside from the cross-kick.

Both Kearney and O'Leary suggested that the try should not have been awarded, and that the referee's 'did not look too deeply at it'.

The match itself was full of small moments and heated exchanges, as both Munster and Connacht celebrated every small victory, with Kearney remarking that it was great to see interpros have this sort of 'bite' to them once again.

"It is great," Kearney said. "It is what we expect and it is what we want from these interpro matches.

"You could argue that they don't have the same amount of bite as they did five or 10 years ago, when Tomas [O'Leary] was the big, tough man there around the breakdown!

"It is good to see it back, and interprovincial games should have that level of spice and venom to it."

With the boot of Carbery extending the lead for the hosts in the second half, Paul Boyle got the visitors back into the lead with a diving effort from a quick-tap penalty.

Another penalty for Carbery had the hosts back in front, before Jack Carty charged the down a kick deep inside the Munster half and scored under the posts for a huge score with 10 minutes left on the clock.

With just over two minutes left to play and Munster camped on their opponents' five meter line, Diarmuid Barron eventually powered over the line to level matters. Carbery added the extras to put the hosts into the lead, with a minute left on the clock.

That was all that was needed, as Johann van Graan's men held onto the ball to eventually clear the ball out for a 20-18 victory.

After the match, Kearney remarked that it was 'so clearly offside', with O'Leary agreeing, stating that 'it certainly looked offside from here; maybe they have a different angle in Thomond Park'.

"As a Connacht fan, you are livid at this moment in time," Kearney said after the match. "It was always going to come back to that first half try that I am pretty sure wasn't a try.

"Sometimes you get the rub of the green, and tonight it was Munster who got that call!"

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Anthony Foley Axel 8 Chris Cloete Connacht Joey Carbery Munster Thomond Park URC United Rugby Championship

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