Munster 38 Ulster 10
A RORY Scannell brace ensured that Munster saw off the challenge of Ulster at Thomond Park on Friday evening with consummate ease to maintain their perfect start to their Rainbow Cup campaign.
Ulster’s diminutive fly-half Michael Lowry kicked his side into an early lead with a penalty in the third minute but it was Munster who scored the first try of the game soon after. Centre Rory Scannell crossed over from close range after number eight Gavin Coombes did all the damage with a barnstorming carry where he looked like a grown man playing against a bunch of kids.
Munster scored again in the 27th minute when Murray sniped from close range after Shane Daly and Dan Goggin had both made good yardage up the left touchline.
Munster looked in complete control and were even more so when Ulster centre Will Addison received a red card in the 39th minute for a reckless high tackle on Daly. And from the resultant penalty Munster ran a move off the lineout with replacement Damian de Allende beautifully putting his full-back Mike Haley away for a superb try, as Munster led 19-3 at the break.
Ulster emptied their bench at halftime, obviously looking for a response, and they got one immediately, with captain Iain Henderson barrelling over from close range in the 45th minute to give his side hope.
Munster coughed up a couple of opportunities from lineouts within the Ulster 22 but they did not have to wait too long for their bonus point score, as Rory Scannell intercepted a poor Michael Lowry pass in midfield in the 56th minute to walk in an easy score under the posts.
Two minutes later JJ Hanrahan was in for a lovely score as he looped around Rory Scannell and collected and finished through a porous Ulster defence to finish the tie as a contest, and Andrew Conway got in on the act with a 79th minute try when the game had completely opened up.
Hanrahan (1 try, 4 cons), R. Scannell (2 tries), Murray, Haley, Conway (1 try each).
Lowry (1 pen, 1 con), Henderson (1 try).
Haley; Conway, Goggin, R. Scannell, Daly; Hanrahan, Murray; Kilcoyne, N. Scannell, Ryan; Wycherley, Beirne; O'Mahony (c), Cloete, Coombes.
de Allende for R. Scannell (39), R. Scannell for de Allende (40), Loughman, Kleyn and Stander for Kilcoyne, Wycherley and Cloete (55), O’Byrne and Salanoa for N. Scannell and Ryan (59), McCarthy and Healy for Murray and Hanrahan (66), de Allende for Goggin (72).
Stockdale, Lyttle, Addison, McCloskey, McIlroy, Lowry, Mathewson; Warwick, Andrew, O'Toole, O’Connor, Henderson (c), Murphy, Rea, McCann.
Herring, Reid, Moore, McCann and Shanahan for Warwick, Andrew, O’Toole, Timoney and Mathewson (40), Hume for Addison (59), Curtis for Lowry (62), Carter for Henderson (67).
Craig Evans (Wales).