Rainbow Cup: Teams up for Munster v Ulster

Published Categorised as 2020-21, Munster Rugby, Provincial Rugby Men, Rainbow Cup, Ulster Rugby Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dan McFarland has made nine changes from the Challenge Cup semi final defeat to Leicester Tigers as Ulster travel down to Thomond Park to take on Munster in the second match of the Rainbow Cup.

It’s a revamped front row with Andrew Warwick, John Andrew and Tom O’Toole all coming in to the starting team. The inclusion of Marcus Rea in the back row is the other change to the pack. In the backs, Michael Lowry starts at ten with Alby Mathewson at scrum half. Will Addison partners Stuart McCloskey in the centre with Rob Lyttle coming onto the wing.

Sam Carter and Angus Curtis have recovered from their respective injuries and find themselves on the bench. Carter hasn’t featured for Ulster since the away defeat to Leinster at the start of the year while Curtis will make his first appearance since December 2019.

The opposition

Munster have had an indifferent season despite running away with first position in Conference B. They were comfortably defeated by Leinster in the final while Toulouse knocked them out of the Champions Cup on home turf.

They’ve named a strong side ahead of tomorrow night and will be hoping that the Rainbow Cup ends their hunt for silverware after besting Leinster at the RDS two weeks ago.

While there’s no Joey Carbery, they are bolstered by Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony, Tadhg Beirne and Andrew Conway. Impressive youngster Gavin Coombes seems to be the heir to CJ Stander‘s eight jersey after an impressive PRO14 campaign, scoring eight tries. He starts at eight tomorrow night.

Ulster have a poor record down in Limerick with their last win coming in May 2014 after Michael Heaney grabbed the match winner for the Ulstermen. It’s one of four wins, and a draw, Ulster have recorded away to Munster since 1996, including the HC Quarter Final.

Since that match, while the scorelines have been close (mostly!), Ulster only have a draw to show for their efforts coming in an end of season encounter in April 2018 when they needed a win to qualify for the play offs.

DATECOMPVENUEREFEREEULSTER (HT)MUNSTER (HT)
28 APR 18PRO14Thomond ParkBen Whitehouse(24) 24(14) 24
29 SEP 18 PRO14 Thomond Park Daniel Jones(0) 7(29) 64
21 DEC 18 PRO14 Ravenhill Sean Gallagher(7) 19(3) 12
9 NOV 19 PRO14 Thomond Park Frank Murphy(6) 16(15) 22
3 JAN 20 PRO14 Ravenhill Daniel Jones(17) 38(10) 17
2 JAN 21 PRO14 RavenhillMike Adamson(15) 15(3) 10

The man in the middle

Craig Evans will take charge of his 21st league game and third Ulster match. It will be his second game this season with the previous result being a resounding 43-14 win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

DATECOMPOPPOVENUEULSTER (HT)OPPO (HT)
12 OCT 19PRO14Southern KingsNelson Mandela Bay(35) 42(10) 17
30 NOV 20PRO14 EdinburghMurrayfield(19) 43(7) 14

Teams

MUNSTERULSTER
Mike Haley15Jacob Stockdale
Andrew Conway14Rob Lyttle
Dan Goggin13Will Addison
Rory Scannell12Stuart McCloskey
Shane Daly11Ethan McIlroy
JJ Hanrahan10Michael Lowry
Conor Murray9Alby Mathewson
Dave Kilcoyne1Andrew Warwick
Niall Scannell2John Andrew
John Ryan3Tom O’Toole
Fineen Wycherley4Alan O’Connor
Tadhg Beirne5Iain Henderson (C)
Peter O’Mahony (C)6Jordi Murphy
Chris Cloete7Marcus Rea
Gavin Coombes8David McCann
Kevin O’Byrne16Rob Herring
Jeremy Loughman17Callum Reid
Roman Salanoa18Marty Moore
Jean Kleyn19Sam Carter
CJ Stander20Nick Timoney
Nick McCarthy21David Shanahan
Ben Healy22Angus Curtis
Damian de Allende23James Hume

The FRU predicts: Considering the strength of the two teams, I’m tipping Munster tomorrow night with the home side running away with it in the last quarter after a one-score game for the first three quarters.

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