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Connacht v Munster


An Tarbh

Massive game for Munster this one, given that they were staring down the ignomony of having to qualify for the Heineken Cup via a playoff with one of the Italian sides, but a win in Galway should all but put any chance of that to rest. Munster should have too much for Connacht.
Several high profile Munster players will be rested for tomorow's New Years Eve clash at the Sportsground with Hayes, O'Connell, Leamy and O'Gara all on the bench. Christian Cullen will start at full back with Shaun Payne switching to the wing while Mafi partners Murphy in the centre.

Connacht: D Riordan; D Yapp, P Warwick, G Williams, K Matthews; M McHugh, C Keane; B Wilkinson, J Fogarty ©, S Knoop/B Sturgess; D Gannon, A Farley; J Muldoon, R Ofisa, C Rigney.
Replacements: A Flavin, M Diffley/B Sturgess, M Swift, M Lacey, C O'Loughlin, J Hearty, T Robinson.

Munster: C Cullen; T O'Leary, B Murphy, L Mafi, S Payne; J Manning, P Stringer; D Hurley, F Sheahan, F Pucciariello, D O'Callaghan, C Wyatt, J O'Sullivan, D Wallace, J Coughlan.
Replacements: A Kyriacou, J Hayes, P O'Connell, D Leamy, R O'Gara, T Halstead, J Kelly.
Dreadful conditions in Galway for this one, can't recall a high scoring fixture between these 2 at Christmas for some time now.

There's been winds of up to 130kph in Galway today so it was a bit of a miracle that the game actually went ahead.

Narrow win for Munster, no bonus point, and big damage done to Connacht's aspirations for the HEC, there's still some hope for the playoff spot but given the Dragons have 3 games in hand and already a 1 point lead you wouldn't be holding out much hope for them.

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