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Video: Du Plessis sent off for needless ruck incident with Munster No.8

Bismarck du Plessis /TG4

Munster fell just short of completing a stunning second-half comeback as they suffered a 29-24 United Rugby Championship defeat to the Bulls in Pretoria.


Johann Van Graan’s men trailed 29-3 as late as the 53rd minute before tries from Alex Kendellen, Damian De Allende and Jack O’Donoghue had them within a try for the last six minutes of the contest.

The Bulls had dominated up to that point, scoring tries through Madosh Tambwe and Walt Steenkamp and making good use of the penalty count as Chris Smith racked up 19 points with the boot.

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Back in the Game – RFU

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Back in the Game – RFU

However, they allowed Munster back into the match and a red card for Bismarck Du Plessis 10 minutes from time – prior to O’Donoghue’s touchdown – made it a nervy end for the home side.

The Bulls were 6-3 up following an exchange of kicks between Smith and Ben Healy when Munster had an O’Donoghue try ruled out for obstruction.

Tambwe then showed his pace to run for the line after an attempted Simon Zebo rip on Marcell Coetzee sent the ball into his grasp in the 17th minute, with Smith on hand to convert the game’s first try and a subsequent penalty as the hosts opened up a 16-3 lead.

Munster were reduced to 14 men when Kendellen saw yellow for a no-arms tackle after 28 minutes and Smith continued to punish the visitors’ indiscipline, splitting the posts with another penalty.


The Bulls capitalised on the man advantage when Steenkamp picked up the pieces from a Kurt-Lee Arendse spillage to dive for the line. Smith again made no mistake, and added yet another penalty after the interval.

Kendellen atoned for his earlier misdemeanour by touching down next to the posts in the 53rd minute, with Healy adding the extras before Tambwe had a try ruled out for a knock-on by Embrose Papier in the build-up.

Replacement De Allende – making his first appearance since January following an abdominal injury – pounced on a loose ball to keep Munster alive in the contest and O’Donoghue burrowed over after Du Plessis had been sent off for a reckless manoeuvre that dumped Kendellen on his head.

Healy converted both tries to bring Munster within five, but the Bulls held on for victory despite Morne Steyn missing the target with two late attempts to put the result beyond doubt.


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Shaylen 2 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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Jon 8 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Sopoaga is going to be more than good enough to look up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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