Connacht do double over Munster

Date published: April 16 2016

Connacht moved back level on points with Leinster at the PRO12 summit after they beat Munster 35-14 with a bonus-point on Saturday.

This season's surprise package continued their excellent year as Niyi Adeolokun (2), a penalty try and Finlay Bealham posted the key points.

Simon Zebo opened the try scoring early on though, before Mike Sherry increased the lead for Munster.

But that was as good as it got for the visitors, with a Adeolokun double added to by Bealham and a penalty try continuing Connacht's strong form at Sportsground.

With just a single home defeat in their last ten games, Connacht took a three point lead eight minutes in through the boot of Shane O'Leary, but Munster had the better start by far.

Zebo marked his 100th appearance for the visitors with the opening try just past the ten minute mark, Johnny Holland converting for a bright start.

O'Leary was in good form early on though and dragged Connacht back to within a point following his second penalty of the night.

But that didn't count for much though, because Munster stormed over for try number two. After prolonged pressure metres from the line, Sherry was able to create enough space to go over just inside the corner. Holland converted again and Munster had a healthy looking lead.

But after the quick burst out of the blocks, the final ten minutes of the half were very poor. It started when James Cronin was shown a yellow card for an infringement at the scrum, with the fourteen men made to pay almost immediately.

Unable to withstand the numbers coming forward, Adeolokun crossed the line with O'Leary converting.

Before half-time, Connacht had snatched back the lead. A penalty try was awarded after Billy Holland found himself joining Cronin, and the referee was given no option but to award five more points. O'Leary converted for a 20-14 half time buffer.

The hosts moved even clearer within the first fifteen minutes after the break, Adeolokun doubling his tally after forcing himself over the line after the TMO had taken a look at the replay.

The game wasn't over by any stretch though, with Munster almost getting themselves right back into it. Francis Salli thought he had reduced the arrears, only to see it chalked off and another lifeline go.

And with thirteen to go, it was all over. Ultan Dillane made a wonderful burst down field before recycling passes and feeding Bealham who crashed over. O?Leary's extras made the scoreline 32-14, securing the bonus point in the process.

O'Leary completed the scoring with a final minute penalty.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Tries: Adeolokun 2, Penalty Try, Bealham
Con: O'Leary 3
Pen: O'Leary 3

For Munster:
Tries: Zebo, Sherry
Con: Holland 2

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Peter Robb, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Shane O’Leary, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Eoin McKeon, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 James Connolly, 21 John Cooney, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Fionn Carr

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Johnny Holland, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jack O'Donoghue, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 CJ Stander (c), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Jordan Coghlan, 21 Tomás O'Leary, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Andrew Conway

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Gary Conway (Ireland), Nigel Correll (Ireland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)