Munster too strong for Maori All Blacks
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