Munster surprise SA ‘A’ with a determined win

Munster 28 (21) SA ‘A’ 14 (7).
The South African northern hemisphere tour suffered another blow in Cork on Thursday night when Munster beat a Springbok-laden SA “A” side 28-14.
The SA “A” side, despite fielding 14 capped Boks, were a patchwork collection of talent. They only had two full training sessions together, but it was largely a woeful performance.
Besides some scrum dominance, South Africa looked sloth-like and cumbersome at a sold-out Pairc Ui Chaoimh as Munster added another southern hemisphere scalp to their collection of famous victories.
It was a weakened Munster side, which included three academy players. Yet they outscored the tourists by four tries to two after leading 21-7 at halftime.
Shane Daly went over early for the home side and Munster’s other tries came from veteran winger Simon Zebo, hooker Diarmuid Barron and fullback Mike Haley. Flyhalf Ben Healey kicked four conversions.
South Africa A, with several players looking to stake claims for places in next year’s World Cup squad, were lifted by tries from Aphelele Fassi and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
Munster have had past success over both touring All Blacks and Wallaby teams, but this was their first victory over a South African side.
For the Springbok management that scheduled this match as a way to grow depth and perhaps find answers to some problems areas, they might be no wiser.
The halfbacks – Johan Goosen and Herschel Jantjies – were poor throughout. Goosen regularly fluffed his lines and failed to provide spark while Jantjies’ service was plodding at best. It was only when reserve scrumhalf Grant Williams entered the contest that SA “A” displayed more threat thanks to his fast service.
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Williams showed his ability to lift the tempo and give SA “A” momentum behind a pack that laid a more than satisfactory foundation.
The reality though, was that the fringe players expected to demonstrate why they should be in the Springbok set-up, failed to make an impression.
This was a Munster side staffed by academy players and fringe campaigners against 14 Test capped players. SA “A” that should have won this match comfortably if previous accolades were the measure of success.
But it took only four minutes for Munster fullback Shane Daly to rock SA “A” back with a try that started with a strong rolling maul.
Their second try, scored by veteran wing Simon Zebo also had its genesis from a lineout. Hooker Diarmuid Barron scored ...