Munster 51 Benetton 22
MUCH to the delight of the Musgrave Park crowd Munster bagged six tries to ensure they comfortably saw off the challenge of Benetton in their URC clash on Friday night.
The opening try came in the 20th minute when a beautifully disguised pass from Jack O’Donoghue put full-back Matt Gallagher through a hole 20m from the Benetton try-line to score.
Benetton’s Rhyno Smith slotted a 24th-minute penalty but Munster were in again in the 34th minute. Craig Casey launched a box-kick that landed around halfway, with Simon Zebo getting a paw to the dropping ball to send it into the breadbasket of John Hodnett.
He accelerated like an express train down the left, and when Zebo collected Hodnett’s pass he was then able to pop inside to the supporting Casey to score.
Benetton then scored with a wonderful diving catch from Smith in the left corner to make it 17-10 at the break, with Munster guilty of coughing up the opportunity from a poor lineout overthrow.
Soon after half time a barnstorming carry from Gavin Coombes had the Benetton defence backpedalling and when the ball was swiftly switched to Zebo on the left he was able to glide home.
The Benetton scrum then did a number on their Munster counterparts, and they got their reward when Giacomo Da Re ran in a try in the 55th minute.
Inevitably it was that man Coombes who made sure of the bonus point when he scored from close range in the 65th minute and Jack O’Sullivan scored another from a devastating rolling maul in the 70th minute, and Damian de Allende rounded it off as he skipped down the right touchline to score in the corner in the 78th minute.
Healy (3 pens, 6 cons), Gallagher, Casey, Zebo, Coombes, O’Sullivan, de Allende (1 try each).
Smith (1 try, 1 pen, 1 con), De Re, Braley (1 try each), Coetzee (1 con).
Gallagher; Daly, de Allende, Scannell, Zebo; Healy, Casey; J Wycherley, Barron, Archer; Coombes, F Wycherley; O’Donoghue (c), Hodnett, Kendellen.
Loughman for J Wycherley (56), O’Sullivan for Hodnett (60), Jenkins and Farrell for Kendellen and Scannell (63), Cronin and Flannery for Casey and Zebo (68), Buckley for Barron (71).
Coetzee; Tavuyara, Riera, Menoncello, Smith; Albornoz, Duvenage (c); Nemer, Baravalle, Chaparro; Herbst, Wegner; Negri, Zuliani, Halafihi.
Da Re for Albornoz (22), Faive for Baravalle (48), Cannone for Herbst (51), Braley for Duvenage (57), Ferrari for Chaparro (60), Drudi for Nemer (67), Benvenuti for Smith (68), Piantella for Negri (73).