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Rugby

05th Nov 2023

“What a night for him!” – Munster’s new crop impress as Rowntree confirms Carbery operation

Patrick McCarry

Munster

“There’s a lot more eyes on you, as a young player, when you come in to a championship-winning team.”

Munster were left reeling at the news of Joey Carbery having to go under the surgeon’s knife again, but a dominant win over Dragons lifted spirits somewhat.

The reigning United Rugby Championship champs made light work of the Welsh side, at Musgrave Park, to make it two wins and a draw from their opening three games. Calvin Nash was their star player, scoring twice and making a try for his side, while Tony Butler looked decent in his first start in the 10 jersey.

Butler may get plenty more outings in the coming weeks and months as Graham Rowntree confirmed Munster outhalf Joey Carbery underwent wrist surgery and would be out for ‘a few months’. Jack Crowley, who came on as a second half sub on Saturday, is cleared to play again after his World Cup stint.

Butler was not the only Munster player making his first start against the Welsh outfit. Sean O’Brien and Alex Nankivell had their first starts in Munster red, in the 45-14 win.

Highly-touted Brian Gleeson was making his second senior appearance for the reigning champs and he scored a try to make it 36-7, in the final quarter. Up in the commentary booth, former Munster star Barry Murphy said:

“Massive congratulations to Brian Gleeson. What a night for him. What a night for a lot of these young Munster players. It’s a daunting feeling when you’re coming on for your first few games. There’s a lot more eyes on you.”

Ben O’Connor made his Munster debut, off the bench, while Ruadhan Quinn was making his fourth senior appearance for the province. Nash was in impressive form and looks to be kicking on after his Ireland debut, in the summer:

Graham Rowntree on Joey Carbery

Munster have Tony Butler and Jack Crowley to use at 10, while Rory Scannell can cover the position too.

Still, the loss of Joey Carbery for the next stretch is a blow, especially as Graham Rowntree discussed how he had come into 2023/24 with a renewed focus. Rowntree told The Irish Examiner:

“He’s been exceptional. He was obviously disappointed at the end of last season but he was still giving to the group. He’s come back in and he’s trained well. He picked up a quad strain early in pre-season but he recovered from that and he’s been great around the group, leading things and I was really pleased with him until he picked up this wrist injury last weekend. He’ll be out for a period of time, I’m not going to lie, but he’ll deal with it, he has done before.”

Elsewhere in the URC, Leinster shipped a couple of late tries to Edinburgh but were still comfortable winners at The RDS.

Connacht are top of the standings after a second half comeback against Ulster saw them win 22-20 to go three wins from three.

LINDSAY PEAT & ALISON MILLER ON HOUSE OF RUGBY

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