Connacht 20 Munster 16
Key moment: The sending off of Andrew Conway at the start of the final quarter tipped the balance in Connacht’s favour after a tense and hard-fought opening hour’s play. Initially, though, it was Munster who scored first after they were reduced to 14 men but Connacht more than cancelled out JJ Hanrahan’s penalty with a Chris Farrell try, converted by Craig Ronaldson.
Talking point: With Joe Schmidt’s backroom staff watching on, it was the players overlooked by the Ireland head coach for the November Tests who shone brightest, both Simon Zebo and Tiernan O’Halloran scoring first-half tries while Andrew Conway’s involvement in the Guinness Series may be shortlived after he saw red for a dangerous tackle.
Key man: Through no fault of his own, Bundee Aki’s call-up to the Ireland camp after qualifying through residency has caused a stir but the Kiwi-born star proved he can silence his critics with his impressive work-rate, speed and vision in midfield, his play both dazzling and hard-nosed as he carried the game to Munster and unlocked the visitors’ defence with quick-thinking and sharp passing.
Ref watch: Nigel Owens annoyed Connacht supporters with some of his penalty decisions at ruck-time but there were no arguments from the home fans when he took his TMO’s advice and sent Andrew Conway off.
Injuries: Connacht lost fly-half Jack Carty to a head injury after he was caught by Conway’s elbow while flanker Jarrad Butler had to be helped from the field after going down just before the final whistle.
Next up: Just one more game for the provinces before the November Test window gets underway and the non-internationals take a three-week break. For Munster there is a home game in Cork against Bernard Jackman’s Dragons while Connacht welcome the Cheetahs to Galway.