MUNSTER’S 21-15 pre-season victory over London Irish at Musgrave Park on Friday night came at a cost as their All-Black centre Francis Saili was stretchered off with pitch with an injury inside the final quarter of the game.
The game, which attracted an attendance of 5,208, was held up for more than 10 minutes as All-Black Saili, who had earlier scored his first try for Munster, received on-field treatment for his injury.
Saili was taken away to hospital and first thoughts were that the former Auckland Blue may have been suffering from concussion. However, he is to undergo a full medical check when the exact nature and extent of his injury will be known.
Munster led ‘the Exiles’ 7-0 at half-time when the excellent Andrew Conway grabbing the first of his two tries, with 18-year-old debutant Bill Johnston duly converting.
London Irish, playing their first game of pre-season, hit back with a 43rd minute penalty goal from out-half Theo Brophy-Clews. However, full-back Conway was rewarded for some quick-thinking soon after when he took a quick tap from a penalty award before scampering over for his second try. Johnston again added the extras.
Munster put the game beyond doubt in the 54th minute when Saili’s superb sidestep created the opening for the New Zealander to score.
After Saili was later taken off on a stretcher injured,ap the visitors grabbed a pair of consolation tries through replacement Christian Lewis-Pratt and Alex Lewington.
MUNSTER: Andrew Conway; Stephen Fitzgerald, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Gerhard van den Heever; Bill Johnston, Cathal Sheridan; John Ryan, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer; John Madigan, Dave Foley; Dave O’Callaghan, Jordan Coghlan, CJ Stander Capt. Replacements: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, Robin Copeland, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Shane Monahan, Shane Buckley, Matt D’Arcy, David Johnston.
LONDON IRISH: Andrew Fenby; Alex Lewington; Eoin Griffin; Dominic Waldouck; Topsy Ojo; Theo Brophy-Clews; Scott Steele; Tom Court; Gerard Ellis; Richard Palframan; Eoin Sheriff; Matt Symons (Captain); Luke Narraway; Conor Gilsenan; David Sisi. Replacements: Tom Cruse; Tom Smallbone; Geoff Cross; George Skivington; David Paice; Ollie Curry; Brendan McKibbin; Ross Neal; Christian Lewis-Pratt; Johnny Harris; Jimmy Stevens; Conor Murphy; Johnny Williams