Zebre 11 Munster 54
MUNSTER ended their season with a facile victory over Zebre in the final round of the Rainbow Cup at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Friday evening, with the Coombes cousins from Skibbereen scoring five tries between them in the rout, with Gavin scoring four of those.
Munster opened the scoring in the ninth minute through a typical try from Gavin Coombes. The number eight took a quick tap penalty five metres from the Zebre line, showed a deft bit of footwork to evade the first tackle and then barrelled through three defenders to crash over.
Zebre’s out-half Carlo Canna registered a 21st-minute penalty to get the home side on the scoreboard, and just three minutes later he repeated the trick to make it a one-point game.
A Zebre kick out on the full gave Munster territory deep in enemy territory and some slick handling put right-wing Andrew Conway away, and although he was stopped short he was able to offload to Matt Gallagher who set up a ruck, and scrum-half Craig Casey was able to jump over the cover to dot down in the corner in the 27th minute.
Munster did not have long to wait for try number three, with the simple tactic of feeding Coombes off a lineout working a treat, as the Zebre defence just were not able to keep him out from eight yards in the 35th minute, and the bonus point was achieved by half time when a Joey Carbery chip was gathered by Chris Farrell who popped it to the supporting Casey to score under the posts, as Munster led 6-28 at the break.
The tries kept coming, with Niall Scannell scoring off a lineout maul in the 46th minute, while Zebre got over for an excellent one themselves in the 56th minute through centre Federico Mori. Another Skibb native Liam Coombes scored a well-taken intercept try on the hour mark, while his cousin Gavin ran in a simple try for his hat-trick in the 69th minute and another in injury time, as Cork’s Billy Holland bowed out with a late appearance off the bench.
Canna (2 pens), Mori (1 try).
Carbery (6 cons), Flannery (1 con), G. Coombes (4 tries), Casey (2 tries), N. Scannell and L. Coombes (1 try each).
Trulla, D’Onofrio, Mori, Lucchin, Bruno; Canna, Violi; Lovotti, Bigi, Nocera; Sisi, Krumov; Bianchi, Leavasa, Giammarioli.
Biondelli for Trulla (1), Trulla for Biondelli (11), Casilio for Violi (36), Ortis and Biondelli for Krumov and Bruno (40), Manfredi and Licata for Bigi and Leavasa (45), Rimpelli for Lovotti (48), Di Marco for Trulla (53), D’Amico for Nocera (57).
Gallagher, Conway, Farrell, R. Scannell, L. Coombes; Carbery, Casey; Kilcoyne, N. Scannell, Ryan; Kleyn, Wycherley; O’Mahony (c), O’Donoghue, G. Coombes.
O’Connor, O’Byrne and Salanoa and Kilcoyne, N. Scannell and Ryan (52), Ahern and Cloete for Kleyn and O’Donoghue (61), Flannery for Carbery (62), McCarthy and Holland for Casey and Wycherley (68).
Andrea Piardi (FIR).