Eight-try Munster book home semi

Date published: May 16 2015

Conor Murray crossed the line three times as Munster put eight tries past Newport Gwent Dragons to book a home semi-final with a 50-27 win.

Munster took a convincing lead in the first half with five tries courtesy of Andrew Smith, CJ Stander, Paul O'Connell and two for Murray.

Despite a penalty for Jason Tovey and a try for Ashton Hewitt, the Dragons were seriously lagging behind, 33-10 at half-time.

The home side scored a further three tries in the second half, a hatrick for Murray and two others for Keith Earls and Ronan O'Mahoney.

Newport scored more tries in the last 40 courtesy of Tyler Morgan, Rhys Buckley and Jack Dixon but the damage had been done in the first half and they lost 50-27.

Tovey opened the scoring with a penalty after only two minutes had been played for Newport, with things getting off to a positive start for the visitors.

However, only a minute later, the Dragons clearing kick was charged down and Paddy Butler gathered the ball which eventually found Smith who finished it off easily with a try.

Newport struck straight back when Taulupe Faletau gathered the ball from the high kick, charged down the field and passed the ball out to Hewitt to run it in for the try.

The Welsh side were not in the lead for long when CJ Stander was driven over the line to score for Munster and then Murray was over for his first try in a similar fashion.

Things went from bad to worse for Newport when Hugh Gustafson was shown a yellow card for coming in at the side and Murray took advantage of this by diving over for Munster's bonus point try.

On 40 minutes, O'Connell peeled away from the rolling maul to score Munster's fifth try and to bring the score to 33-10 at half-time.

Munster scored a try only a minute into the second half when Earls raced over the line to give his side a 30-point lead.

Newport managed to get one back when the break by Dorian Jones was finished off by Morgan under the sticks. The home side had Butler sent to the sin-bin but it did not stop them scoring, with Murray going over for his hatrick within that ten minutes.

The Dragons once again replied with a superb effort for Buckley who powered over for the try.

Munster struck back with another try, O'Mahony showing some great pace and a stylish finish to gain a further five points. Dixon barged his way over for Newport's bonus point try on 80 minutes but it was too little too late and they lost 50-27.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Smith, Stander, Murray 3, O'Connell, Earls, O'Mahony
Cons: Keatley 5
Yellow Card: Butler

For Dragons:
Tries: Hewitt, Morgan, Buckley, Dixon
Cons: Tovey 2
Pens: Tovey
Yellow Card: Gustafson

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Denis Hurley (c), 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Paddy Butler, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Billy Holland, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 John Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Sean Dougall, 20 Jack O'Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Andrew Conway.

Dragons: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Nick Crosswell, 5 Rynard Landman (c), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Hugh Gustafson, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 James Benjamin, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Ashton Hewitt, 23 Geraint Rhys Jones.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse
Assistant Referees: Dudley Phillips, Sean Gallagher (both IRFU)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (IRFU)