An understrength Munster team scored seven unanswered tries to clinch a 43-0 win against the Kings in Cork on Friday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Apart from a decent spell in the opening 10 minutes, the Kings were never in this contest. Munster were left frustrated for much of a rather subdued first half, as their discipline and execution let them down, but moved up a gear in the second.
Munster had to make do without the likes of Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, CJ Stander, Joey Carbery, Tadhg Beirne and Keith Earls, who are on Test duty with Ireland, yet were still far too strong for the visitors.
After the Kings threatened early on, Munster settled into a rhythm and immediately made easy yards over the advantage line. They recycled the ball well and in the 14th minute scrumhalf Neil Cronin scored. Rory Scannell kicked the conversion.
For the remainder of the half, Munster camped on the threshold of the Kings’ tryline, but the defence was bailed out by a couple of inexplicable handling errors by the attacking team.
The final pass eventually stuck for Munster, though, and the dam wall broke. Stretching the Kings, who were down to 14 men at the time, from side to side, Tyler Bleyendaal spotted an overlap and flung a long skip pass to Andrew Conway for an easy run-in on the stroke of half-time.
It was much of the same after the break, as Munster continued to maul the Kings in the scrums. Conway turned from scorer to provider when his well-weighted grubber kick was chased down by Darren Sweetman for Munster’s third try, leaving them one shy of the desired four-try bonus point. It didn’t take them long to get there as Billy Holland crashed over from close range.
Munster finished with a flourish, while the Kings conceded two more yellow cards (to Tertius Kruger and Andisa Ntsila) for foul play in the space of a minute.
That was all Munster needed to further exploit the already fragile defence. Forwards Rhys Marshall and Jean Kleyn added their names to the scoresheet, before Scannell sliced through a gap to bring his personal tally to 13.
Munster – Tries: Neil Cronin, Andrew Conway, Darren Sweetnam, Billy Holland, Rhys Marshall, Jean Kleyn, Rory Scannell. Conversions: Scannell (4).
Munster – 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Darren Sweetnam, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal (c), 9 Neil Cronin, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Finnen Wycherley, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Jeremy Loughman.
Subs: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Liam O’Connor, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Darren O’Shea, 20 Gavin Coombes, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Dan Goggin.
Kings – 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Meli Rokoua, 12 Berton Klaasen, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Bader Pretorius, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Steph de Wit, 5 JC Astle, 4 Andries van Schalkwyk, 3 De-Jay Terblanche, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Subs: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Stephan Greeff, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Tertius Kruger, 23 Ulrich Beyers.
Photo: Munster Rugby