Gavin Coombes' first tries for Munster prove crucial

March 6th, 2020 4:49 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Gavin Coombes scores two tries for Munster against Scarlets.

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GAVIN Coombes scored his first tries for Munster as they beat Scarlets 29-10 in the Guinness Pro14 at Thomond Park on Saturday night.

The Skibbereen man came off the bench in the final quarter to make a massive impact as he scored two late tries from close-range, including an 84th minute bonus-point try. He scored his first try after 72 minutes.

This result sees Munster, after three bonus-point wins in a row at Thomond Park, now move to within two points of Conference B leaders Edinburgh.

‘It was a dream come true really, I grew up wanting to do that so to finally do it, I think it’s 15 or 16 games in so it’s been a while coming,’ a delighted Coombes said.

‘It’s a huge win, we’ll keep pace with Edinburgh and we’ll have to see what happens over the next few weeks with Treviso but hopefully we can kick on now.’

Munster head coach Johann Van Graan was impressed by Coombes’ cameo.

‘I said to Coombsie at the start of this block, I’m going to play you at lock even though you’re a loose forward, you’re going to fulfil that role, and he did so really well. An excellent performance,’ Van Graan said.

This is Coombes’ first season with the Munster senior team after signing a two-year contract in late 2018. He made his senior debut in September 2018 against Cheetahs and the former Ireland U20 has 14 Munster appearances to his name.

The Skibbereen RFC man was one of four West Cork players that lined out for Munster in their latest win.

Keakill’s Fineen Wycherley and Dunmanway’s Darren Sweetnam both started, while Coombes and Rosscarbery’s John Hodnett were both sprung from the bench.

In a recent Pro14 game against Southern Kings, Hodnett scored a try and won the man-of-the-match award on his Munster debut.

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