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Repeat: Off The Ball


Munster 35 - 14 Wasps | Keith Earls, Andrew Conway tries lead Munster kids to unlikely win

Munster overcame the absences of their South Africa contingent to come away with an unlikely bonus-point victory over Wasps.

Munster beat Wasps by 35 points to 14 after tries from Keith Earls, Andrew Conway, Scott Buckley and Patrick Campbell.

Munster did it again.

Despite Covid problems decimating the squad, Munster overcame the trip to London to face Wasps. A surprise bonus-point victory sets Johann Van Graan's side up in a good position to qualify for the knockout rounds. But for all the fairytale headlines that will be written, this game was more a confluence of circumstances.

Munster actually benefited from knowing their situation before Wasps. The English side suffered their own Covid problems late in the week, forcing them into unexpected changes and disrupting their preparations.

Wasps made 13 changes to their team between Friday and Sunday.

Neither side looked like they had prepared much as the game because reminiscent of an under-16 game rather than senior, professional rugby. Munster had more star power and Romain Poitre emphasized that star power with a very questionable red card. Poitre sent Brad Shields off after 25 minutes.

The Wasps captain hit Dave Kilcoyne high, but it was not an egregious hit. The commentary team thought it was a questionable yellow card, yet Poitre went straight to red.

Wasps went down to 13 men just before halftime. Hooker Dan Frost cynically dove on the goal line to prevent Tadhg Beirne from scoring. Munster didn't score before halftime but capitalized after it. They soon opened up a 25-point lead. Andrew Conway and Keith Earls scored, but so did a couple of debutants. Fullback Patrick Campbell scored out wide before hooker Scott Buckley capped off a set-piece move under the posts.

It wasn't just the try scorers who impressed. Daniel Okeke at number 8 made plays all over the field, while John Hodnett proved he belongs at this level. Eoin O'Connor made a key block that led to Wasps' yellow card.

Joey Carbery hit the post twice but hit three conversions and three penalties.

The first game in at least 50 days for any Munster player couldn't have gone much better. It was especially notable that they didn't have to use their inexperienced bench players until the result had already been decided. However, Joey Carbery sustained a concerning arm injury in the dying moments.

We will have to await news on his status moving forward.

Munster face Castres at home next weekend.

Munster 35-14 Wasps.

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Champions Cup Rugby Joey Carbery Munster Wasps