Colm Kinsella rates the Munster players after their win over Edinburgh in the opening game of the RaboDirect PRO12 season.
Denis Hurley 7
Hurley is getting a chance to shine with Felix Jones sidelined through injury. The former St Munchin’s College star scored the first of Munster’s five tries on 13 minutes when he touched down in the tightest of space.
Ronan O’Mahony 7
Turned in a solid display following his try-scoring hat-trick heroics of a week earlier. Drew audible gasps from the crowd when he flicked the ball up in the lead-up to Coughlan’s try. Did he mean it? Did miss a tackle in the lead up to Edinburgh’s second try.
Casey Laulala 7
Laulala has started the season in terrific form. Remains a constant threat with ball in hand, probing away for the slightest opening. Solid in defence too.
Ivan Dineen 7
Great opportunity for Dineen to impress with James Downey currently on the injured list. Formed a solid centre partnership with Laulala and finished his second half try, which secured the bonus point, clinically.
Johne Murphy 8
Murphy, who made only made eight appearances for Munster last season, largely due to injury, has begun the new campaign in impressive fashion. Well-placed grubber kick through for James Coughlan’s first half try. Constantly looking for work
Ian Keatley 8
Keatley is currently in the box seat to replace the departed Ronan O’Gara at out-half. The 26-year-old again caught the eye and played a key role in both Denis Hurley and Ivan Dineen’s tries with well-timed pass.
Duncan Williams 8
Williams and Cathal Sheridan are in a battle to become back-up to Lions star Conor Murray. Williams turned in a fine display here. Passing was crisp and accurate and ever eager to snipe.
James Cronin 8
First senior competitive start for the 22-year-old and what better way to mark it than by scoring a debut try. Cronin impressed in both the scrum and loose. Made just two appearances as a replacement last season.
Mike Sherry 7
First choice hooker at Munster for much of last season. Line-out throwing was top class and the Garryowen clubman carried well. Another big battle with Damien Varley for the number two jersey lies ahead.
Stephen Archer 7
Big opportunity for Archer with first choice tighthead prop BJ Botha on the injured list for the next month. Showed up well all through, influential at maul and ruck time.
David Foley 6
Twenty five-year-old UL-Bohs clubman made 10 starts in Rabo last season, including four starts. Needs to grab his opportunities with both hands. Sure to see more game time in Italy.
Donncha O’Callaghan 6
Thirty four year old O’Callaghan’s still going strong 15 seasons after he made debut in Celtic League. O’Callaghan’s experience in Munster’s engine room will again be important in the back-to-back fixtures against Zebre and Treviso in Italy
David O’Callaghan 7
Last season was a breakthrough one for the 23-year-old who started in two of Munster’s Heineken Cup fixtures. Well in the mix in the fiercely competitive back-row battle. Didn’t do his prospects of further game time any harm.
Sean Dougall 6
Impressive first season last term, but game time through the latter stages of the campaign were hampered by a knee ligament injury which kept him sidelined from March until the final day of Munster’s season. Carried well and will hope to remain injury free
James Coughlan (capt) 7
The 33-year-old captained the side in the absence of Peter O’Mahony and performed very well. Showed good awareness for his 15th minute try and carried impressively all through.
Cathal Sheridan 7
Impressed when introduced for Williams. Linked well with JJ Hanrahan for Munster’s fifth try.
Billy Holland 6
Brings an impressive work rate and high intensity to the mix. Made significant impact when introduced.
Tommy O’Donnell 6
Will look to build on excellent showing of last season. Will want to tie down a starting place for upcoming PRO12 games with Leinster and the Heineken Cup pool matches by impressing against Zebre and Treviso over the next two weekends.
Damien Varley, David Kilcoyne, John Ryan, JJ Hanrahan, Cian Bohane:
(Not on long enough to be rated)