Familiar pair to pull the Strings for Munster

MUNSTER will roll back the years against Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday night when they pair Peter Stringer and Ronan O’Gara at half-back.

Stringer, 34, has not started for Munster since the RaboDirect Pro12 clash at Edinburgh last September.

He spent last season on loan at Saracens and Newcastle in the Aviva Premiership but returns against the Dragons to make his 226th appearance for his province.

O’Gara, 35, will be looking to impress after seeing Ian Keatley impressing at fly-half.

The experienced pair have not joined forces from the first whistle in 19 months.

The midfield partnership of James Downey and Casey Laulala, which was impressive in defeat to Ulster in Belfast last weekend, is broken up.

The former Cardiff Blues centre is rested this weekend with Keith Earls wearing 13 alongside Downey.

Ireland flyer Simon Zebo returns on the left wing with New Zealand great Doug Howlett skippering the side from the other flank.

Munster field a strong front five with locks Donncha O’Callaghan and Billy Holland packing down behind Marcus Horan, Mike Sherry and BJ Botha.

Munster: I Keatley, D Howlett (captain), K Earls, J Downey, S Zebo, R O’Gara, P Stringer, M Horan, M Sherry, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, B Holland, Dave O’Callaghan, N Ronan, P Butler. Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, S Archer, D Foley, T O’Donnell, C Murray, D Barnes, JJ Hanrahan.

Comments (5)

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9:21am Fri 21 Sep 12

East Newport Dave says...

They can afford to put 2 old men in and would probably cruise to victory blindfolded with one arm tied behind their backs. Sorry for the negativity. I'll be delighted if I'm proved wrong.
They can afford to put 2 old men in and would probably cruise to victory blindfolded with one arm tied behind their backs. Sorry for the negativity. I'll be delighted if I'm proved wrong. East Newport Dave

4:21pm Fri 21 Sep 12

corpardguy says...

Front 5 too strong for us, but we should be Ok at the breakdown and if we DON'T DROP THE BALL for no good reason and DONT KICK TO THEIR BACK THREE we could grab a bonus point.
Howlett may have lost a few yards but he is an intelligent player, as is O'Gara. so please keep the ball away from these play makers (and Earls)
We know they will get their penalties and
they will win the majority of the line outs so no missed tackles and no aimless kicking without good follow-ups.
(O'Gara will be off after 60 mins)
Last word .....DEFENCE!!!!!!!!
Front 5 too strong for us, but we should be Ok at the breakdown and if we DON'T DROP THE BALL for no good reason and DONT KICK TO THEIR BACK THREE we could grab a bonus point. Howlett may have lost a few yards but he is an intelligent player, as is O'Gara. so please keep the ball away from these play makers (and Earls) We know they will get their penalties and they will win the majority of the line outs so no missed tackles and no aimless kicking without good follow-ups. (O'Gara will be off after 60 mins) Last word .....DEFENCE!!!!!!!! corpardguy

11:13pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Euwan Usami says...

corpardguy wrote:
Front 5 too strong for us, but we should be Ok at the breakdown and if we DON'T DROP THE BALL for no good reason and DONT KICK TO THEIR BACK THREE we could grab a bonus point.
Howlett may have lost a few yards but he is an intelligent player, as is O'Gara. so please keep the ball away from these play makers (and Earls)
We know they will get their penalties and
they will win the majority of the line outs so no missed tackles and no aimless kicking without good follow-ups.
(O'Gara will be off after 60 mins)
Last word .....DEFENCE!!!!!!!!
So if,if,if,if,if and if then we won't get battered. A losing bonus point would restore some respect but Munster are too strong and too experienced to do anything but win easily IMO.
[quote][p][bold]corpardguy[/bold] wrote: Front 5 too strong for us, but we should be Ok at the breakdown and if we DON'T DROP THE BALL for no good reason and DONT KICK TO THEIR BACK THREE we could grab a bonus point. Howlett may have lost a few yards but he is an intelligent player, as is O'Gara. so please keep the ball away from these play makers (and Earls) We know they will get their penalties and they will win the majority of the line outs so no missed tackles and no aimless kicking without good follow-ups. (O'Gara will be off after 60 mins) Last word .....DEFENCE!!!!!!!![/p][/quote]So if,if,if,if,if and if then we won't get battered. A losing bonus point would restore some respect but Munster are too strong and too experienced to do anything but win easily IMO. Euwan Usami

11:37pm Fri 21 Sep 12

corpardguy says...

Dear Usami,
If we all thought like you why bother playing the game? Everyone would win the "pools" every week. ITS SPORT, $h1t happens!! people have off days, smash eye sockets, tear ligaments and others play like Dan Carter and Martin Johnson for 80 mins, .....even if its only once!
I remember mighty Newport getting beaten by a minnow in their heyday....and these guys are only human, honest.
Dear Usami, If we all thought like you why bother playing the game? Everyone would win the "pools" every week. ITS SPORT, $h1t happens!! people have off days, smash eye sockets, tear ligaments and others play like Dan Carter and Martin Johnson for 80 mins, .....even if its only once! I remember mighty Newport getting beaten by a minnow in their heyday....and these guys are only human, honest. corpardguy

1:11am Sat 22 Sep 12

Euwan Usami says...

corpardguy wrote:
Dear Usami,
If we all thought like you why bother playing the game? Everyone would win the "pools" every week. ITS SPORT, $h1t happens!! people have off days, smash eye sockets, tear ligaments and others play like Dan Carter and Martin Johnson for 80 mins, .....even if its only once!
I remember mighty Newport getting beaten by a minnow in their heyday....and these guys are only human, honest.
Just being realistic to be fair, people say its only 15 v 15 but you have to accept that some thing are unavoidable. Be a season ticket holder I would love to be proved wrong but so far this season the dragons have struggled badly at the breakdown, up front in contact and with basics in the game. Munster have put a strong side out and don't suffer from these short comings.we have no back up no.10 on the bench no Toby at 8, a losing bonus point would be an achievement under the circumstances.
[quote][p][bold]corpardguy[/bold] wrote: Dear Usami, If we all thought like you why bother playing the game? Everyone would win the "pools" every week. ITS SPORT, $h1t happens!! people have off days, smash eye sockets, tear ligaments and others play like Dan Carter and Martin Johnson for 80 mins, .....even if its only once! I remember mighty Newport getting beaten by a minnow in their heyday....and these guys are only human, honest.[/p][/quote]Just being realistic to be fair, people say its only 15 v 15 but you have to accept that some thing are unavoidable. Be a season ticket holder I would love to be proved wrong but so far this season the dragons have struggled badly at the breakdown, up front in contact and with basics in the game. Munster have put a strong side out and don't suffer from these short comings.we have no back up no.10 on the bench no Toby at 8, a losing bonus point would be an achievement under the circumstances. Euwan Usami

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