Sharks takle Munster in URC 2023-24

Sharks back Werner Kok makes a tackle in the URC. Photo: @MunsterRugby via X.

Sharks fall victim to defending URC champions Munster

The Sharks started their URC campaign on a sour note after slumping to an agonising 13-point defeat against Munster.

Sharks takle Munster in URC 2023-24

Sharks back Werner Kok makes a tackle in the URC. Photo: @MunsterRugby via X.

Final-quarter tries from Andrew Conway and Ethan Coughlan earned Munster a 34-21 bonus-point win over the Sharks as they made a successful start to their United Rugby Championship title defence at Thomond Park.

Academy lock Edwin Edogbo’s first URC try put his side on course for a 21-7 half-time lead, with Diarmuid Barron and Antoine Frisch also scoring to sandwich Werner Kok’s 37th-minute reply.

Despite James van Rensburg crossing in the 48th minute to cancel out a Joey Carbery penalty, the Sharks lost Cameron Wright to the sin bin and those scores from Conway and Coughlan put the result beyond doubt.

The Sharks did muster a late consolation effort from Aphelele Fassi, something to take with them into next week’s trip to Leinster.

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The Sharks had some decent performers as they kicked off their early-season tour of Ireland, Wales and Italy. Ntuthuko Mchunu and Phepsi Buthelezi up front, and Bosch did well to create two tries on the night. However, Bosch’s opposite number, Joey Carbery, was a deserving URC Player of the Match recipient. He kicked nine points and had some big involvements in both defence and attack.

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Munster saved the best for last in terms of their try-scoring. They quickly transferred turnover ball out to the left, with Kendellen’s long delivery stretching the visitors’ defence. Frisch gathered the back-rower’s pass on the bounce, sucked in two defenders and offloaded for Coughlan to evade Van Rensburg’s tackle and dive over in the left corner.

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Munster scorers — Tries: Edogbo, Barron, Frisch, Conway, Coughlan. Conversions: Carbery (3). Penalty: Carbery.
Sharks scorers — Tries: Werner Kok, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Aphelele Fassi. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3).

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Munster — 15 Shane Daly; 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Antoine Frisch, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Calvin Nash; 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Ethan Coughlan; 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 Alex Kendellen, 6 Jack O’Donoghue (captain), 5 Fineen Wycherley, 4 Edwin Edogbo, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Diarmuid Barron, 1 Josh Wycherley.
Subs: 16 Scott Buckley, 17 Kieran Ryan, 18 John Ryan, 19 Tom Ahern, 20 Brian Gleeson, 21 Neil Cronin, 22 Alex Nankivell, 23 Shay McCarthy.

Sharks — 15 Boeta Chamberlain, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Murray Koster, 12 Francois Venter (captain), 11 Marnus Potgieter, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 George Cronje, 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Emile van Heerden, Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Subs: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Vincent Tshituka, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Aphelele Fassi.

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Sharks Rugby vs Munster result graphic
Sharks Rugby vs Munster result graphic.