Munster consolidated their lead in the Magners League with 20-10 win over Aironi at Stadio Zaffanella on Sunday.
Munster overcame a slack first half display to consolidate their lead in the Magners League with 20-10 win over Aironi at Stadio Zaffanella on Sunday.
The win gives the Limerick-based outfit an 11-point cushion over second place Leinster and edges them towards a home play-off semi-final place.
Scores from Donnacha Ryan and a penalty try condemned Aironi to their 15th consecutive defeat in the competition.
Despite being competitive in the first period, Munster used all their experience to take advantage of two second half yellow cards handed out to the hosts.
In a scrappy and mistake-ridden opening, fly-half Paul Warwick put Munster's first points on the board with a sixth minute penalty.
The Italian side replied through James Marshall, but Munster's stand-off restored the away side's lead with another three points. Back-rower Ryan was then sin-binned for the Irish team but they managed to hold out until the break.
Two minutes into the second half and winger Giulio Toniolatti was yellow carded, and unlike the Italian side, Munster managed to take advantage.
Off a five metre line-out, Ryan made up for his earlier indiscretion by going over for the try, Warwick converting.
Flanker Gareth Krause became the second Aironi player to be put into the bin and the away team made their set-piece dominance tell when the referee awarded them a penalty try.
Aironi had the last say when former Munster back-row Nick Williams went over for a try, with substitute Ricardo Bocchino kicking the conversion.
Tries: Ryan, Penalty try
Cons: Warwick 2
Pens: Warwick 2
Yellow cards: Ryan (Munster – 29th min); Toniolatti (Aironi – 42nd min); Krause (Aironi – 55th min)
Aironi: 15 Danwel Demas; 14 Kaine Robertson, 13 Gilberto Pavan, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Giulio Toniolatti; 10 James Marshall, 9 Pietro Travagli; 8 Nick Williams, 7 Gareth Krause, 6 Josh Sole; 5 Marco Bortolami (capt), 4 Joshua Furno; 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Tommaso D'Apice, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Luca Redolfini, 18 Andrea De Marchi, 19 George Biagi, 20 Nicola Cattina, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Riccardo Bocchino, 23 Gabriel Pizarro.
Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Denis Hurley, 13 Lifeimi Mafi, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Simon Zebo 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Ian Nagle, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Alan Quinlan , 21 Conor Murray, 22 Declan Cusack, 23 Doug Howlett .
Venue: Stadio Zaffanella, Viadana
Referee: David Jones (WRU)