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Bonus Point Win Sends Munster ‘A’ Through

Bonus Point Win Sends Munster ‘A’ Through

Munster ‘A’ have booked their place in the British & Irish Cup quarter-finals as one of the two best runners-up, following their 29-0 bonus point victory over Moseley at Billesley Common.

Kiwi prop Peter Borlase came off the bench to score a late fourth try for Munster 'A' which helped them qualify for the competition's last-eight as the runners-up (14 points) behind Cross Keys (15 points) in Pool 2.

Cross Keys lost 30-3 to Pool 1 winners Cornish Pirates today, while Munster's cause was helped by the Bedford Blues' 25-25 draw with Llanelli and London Welsh's 24-24 draw with Pool 3 winners Leinster 'A'.

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Munster 'A' lost their opening game to the Pirates back in early November but since then have strung together three wins over Neath (23-9), Ayr (9-3) and Moseley.

In Birmingham on Saturday, out-half Scott Deasy fired over a 10th minute penalty to set the visitors on their way. But defences ruled for most of the first half with neither side able to build through the phases.

Cutting down their mistakes, Munster 'A' struck for a try just two minutes before the break. Prop Dave Kilcoyne, who has excelled in recent games, was driven over the line for a converted effort.

Ian Costello's side continued to boss matters up front when the second half got underway. David O'Callaghan and Ian Nagle were particularly prominent as Munster 'A' worked their way through a series of pick and drives.

The Moseley defence gradually gave way with prop Christy Condon pumping his legs as he muscled over from close range, grabbing a second try for the front row union. Deasy added the extras for a 17-0 lead.

The English outfit, who are coached by former Ulster and Ireland centre Kevin Maggs, had posted two pool wins but simply had no answer to the province's power up front on this occasion.

Good work from the forwards gave Deasy the time and space to send over a cross-field kick into the welcoming arms of Paddy Butler for try number three.

The young number 8's try in the corner was converted superbly by the influential Deasy, leaving Munster 'A' with 30 minutes to chase the bonus point score.

They left it late as Moseley enjoyed some decent possession before Borlase, with just two minutes left, barged over from a couple of metres out for the fourth try of this one-sided clash.

Speaking afterwards, Munster 'A' boss Costello said: “Today was great, not only for getting the winning bonus point but also for the margin we secured, that's what is most pleasing.

“We had set a 25 to 30-point target for ourselves going into the game and the lads, a young side, showed great mental strength in securing that win.”

Ireland Under-20 international and first year Munster Academy player Shane Buckley, a late addition to the squad, made his British & Irish Cup debut when replacing captain Billy Holland in the 74th minute.

Referee: Cammy Rudkin (Scotland)