Mun­ster too strong for Maori All Blacks

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Dublin: A strong sec­ond-half per­for­mance saw Mun­ster beat the Maori All Blacks 27-14 at Thomond Park on Fri­day night. Mun­ster opened the scor­ing through Rory Scannell in­side the first 15 min­utes but Ian Keat­ley failed to add the ex­tras. The Maori All Blacks hit back 10 min­utes later when Otere Black made the gap with a dummy pass be­fore send­ing James Lowe through the gap on the 22 line. He was caught be­fore the 5m line, but the wet con­di­tions took him over the line.

The vis­i­tors dou­bled their lead just two min­utes later when Mun­ster gave a loose kick t o wards mid­field where Akira Ioane took it at pace. Marty McKen­zie gave it some width out wide be­fore Black got a hand on the ball to at­tract a tack­ler be­fore putting Am­brose Cur­tis away. Mun­ster were awarded a penalty try af­ter Reed Prin­sep was deemed to have taken out a Mun­ster player off the ball, which also re­sulted in the flanker re­ceiv­ing a yel­low card. The con­ver­sion was miss but Mun­ster man­aged to take the lead go­ing into half time when Dar­ren Sweet­nam scored to give his side a nar­row 17-14 lead at the break. The sec­ond half had barely re­sumed when Keat­ley added a penalty to give Mun­ster some breath­ing space on the score­board. They had the bet­ter of the sec­ond 40 and when Ro­nan O’Ma­hony went over with 12 min­utes left it ef­fec­tively sealed the game for Mun­ster.

THE SCOR­ERS: For Mun­ster: Tries: Scannell, Penalty Try, Sweet­nam, O’Ma­hony Cons: Keat­ley 2 Pen: Keat­ley

For Maori All Blacks: Tries: Lowe, Cur­tis Cons: Black 2 Yel­low Card: Prin­sep Lions boss War­ren Gat­land praised Sch­midt and said there was an “op­por­tu­nity” and “po­ten­tial” for his fel­low New Zealan­der to be in­volved in the Lions coach­ing staff, which will be named on De­cem­ber 7. He wants to lead the Ir­ish on their own tour in June when they play the United States, and two more tests in Ja­pan. “A big part of the mo­ti­va­tion for me not be­ing in­volved in the Lions was to go to the USA and Ja­pan, and work with this next cadre of play­ers,” Sch­midt said in the buildup to fac­ing Canada on Sat­ur­day in Dublin. “Be­cause the best of our play­ers will go on the Lions, and the more the bet­ter. “Hope­fully a few of them put their hands up with Gats in (Chicago for the his­toric win over the All Blacks) on Sat­ur­day. But the ones that don’t go, that’s go­ing to be a re­ally in­ter­est­ing group for us and, for me, I want to make sure I get to know those guys.” Sch­midt hopes his de­fence coach, Andy Farrell, is taken again by the Lions. Farrell was on Gat­land’s Lions staff as the de­fence coach in 2013 in Aus­tralia. The Lions won that series 2-1. - AP

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