Munster ran in six tries as they coasted to a 40-30 BKT United Rugby Championship victory over Benetton to leapfrog the Italians.
Paddy Patterson, Jack O’Sullivan, John Hodnett, Jean Kleyn, Antoine Frisch and Joey Carbery went over for tries with Carbery converting five of them to hand Benetton just a second loss in their last 10 contests.
Ignacio Mendy completed a hat-trick of tries in the last minute to secure a bonus point for the hosts, who also crossed through Marco Zanon.
Benetton drew first blood in the fifth minute when Filippo Drago broke through the Munster defensive line and he quickly offloaded to Jacob Umaga, who in turn fed Zanon to motor over in the left corner.
Umaga’s attempted conversion hit the upright with the 90-second shot clock in operation for the first time this weekend.
The Italians raced into a 12-0 lead seven minutes later when a quick ball inside from a ruck saw Rhyno Smith power through the line and, when he was eventually brought down, his long pass picked out Mendy to canter over in the right corner with Umaga adding the extras.
Munster got themselves back into the game almost immediately when Calvin Nash collected his own chip forward and with full-back Smith out of position, an inside pass to Patterson gave the scrum-half a simple try with Carbery converting.
The visitors silenced the home crowd to go ahead after 30 minutes following superb work from their back row.
Hodnett broke clear through the middle and drew the tacklers before flipping the ball to O’Sullivan on his shoulder to cruise in under the posts and Carbery’s conversion put them 14-12 up.
Umaga restored the Benetton lead on the stroke of half-time when he sent a straightforward penalty from in front of the posts over for a 15-14 lead.
It took Munster just two minutes after the interval to grab their third try.
Munster sent the ball down the line from a ruck just outside the Benetton 22 and Hodnett then burst through two poor tackle attempts to run in under the posts and give Carbery an easy conversion.
Benetton reduced the lead to three points as Ben Healy was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on and Umaga sent the penalty through the posts.
Despite being a man down, Munster went over for the bonus-point try as Kleyn squirmed over from close range.
With replacement hooker Diarmuid Barron yellow carded for conceding a penalty close to Munster’s line for playing off his feet, Benetton went in for a third try.
Quick ball from the scrum found Marcus Watson and he drew his man before feeding Mendy to go over for his second try in the corner.
Munster then wrapped it with a pair of insurance tries in the final 10 minutes.
Healy’s clever kick was gathered by Frisch to go over in the corner before Carbery took advantage of a tiring home defence with a simple score before Mendy claimed this third.