Munster put Dragons to the sword

Date published: November 21 2014

Munster outscored Dragons five tries to none to claim a convincing 38-12 victory in Friday’s Pro12 clash at Rodney Parade.

Munster outscored Dragons five tries to none to claim a convincing 38-12 victory in Friday’s Pro12 clash at Rodney Parade.

Four second-half tries for Munster saw the visiting side continue their unbeaten spell.

A first half-try from Robin Copeland was not enough for Munster as they went in behind at the break.

But the visitors showed their superiority in the second 40, with four further tries demolishing Newport.

Duncan Casey grabbed two, with Andrew Smith and Ronan O’Mahony getting one each to secure the bonus point.

On a grim night at Rodney Parade, Geraint Rhys Jones opened the scoring after he took over kicking duties from Dorian Jones following an early miss Munster began to pressure the out-of-form Dragons, and they eventually made that pressure count on 17 minutes.

The Irish drove over the line after a good spell, with Copeland the man in possession. Ian Keatley made no mistake from the conversion.

But Dragons turned the score around, as they spent almost the remainder of the first period in Munster’s half.

And the visiting side didn’t help themselves, conceding the ball in a number of attacking line-outs. Jones struck his second penalty of the evening midway through the half, and with six minutes before the break he gave Newport the lead with his third successful kick.

Keatley’s penalty straight after the break gave Munster the lead, and they never looked like losing it.

Six minutes into the half, Munster sent a maul forward and Duncan Casey was able to go over, with Keatley doing his job in a perfect night for the kicker.

That early try knocked any momentum out of Lyn Jones’ side, and Munster went over again on 63 minutes. A soft pass from Keatley found JJ Hanrahan, and his ball to Andrew Smith was perfect, as he went over unopposed to extend the lead, even more so thanks to Keatley.

Jones did narrow the gap slightly before the fourth Munster try of the evening.

That came when they again battled their way through the Dragons, Casey getting his second in a half that blew away the Dragons, whose losing streak stretched to four games.

Dave O’Callaghan made his long awaited return for Munster late on, as he appeared for the first time since February.

And he was on for the games final points, as Hanrahan’s chip forward fell to O’Mahony, and his try was followed by yet another successful kick from Keatley, to seal the scoring on a huge win.

The result has seen Munster’s incredible away record continue, with just one defeat since March, whilst Newport are no doubt glad to see the back of the Irish side, who they have beaten on just one occasion of the last eight.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Pens: G.R Jones 4

For Munster:
Tries: Copeland, Casey 2, Smith, O’Mahony
Cons: Keatley 5
Pen: Keatley

Dragons: 15 Geraint Rhys Jones, 14 Tyler Morgan, 13 Ross Wardle, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 James Thomas, 5 Rynard Landman (c), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Dan Way, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Brok Harris
Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Ollie Griffiths, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Ashton Hewitt.

Munster: 15 JJ Hanrahan, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Ronan O’Mahony, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan (c), 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 John Ryan
Replacements: 16 Duncan Casey, 17 Alan Cotter, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Dave O’Callaghan, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Pat Howard, 23 Johne Murphy.

Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: Matteo Liperini (Italy)
Assistant referees: Simon Rees (Wales), Martyn Lewis (Wales)