Munster see off Blues

Date published: October 17 2015

Irish giants Munster outscored Cardiff Blues five tries to three to clinch a 35-27 win in Cork in the PRO12.

Rhys Patchell's performance defined the match, as the fly-half missed three penalties in the first ten minutes. But this was before he laid on two tries for his teammates and succeeded in his next three attempts at the posts. His all-round game was excellent throughout as he put Munster to the sword with his handling and driving runs. 

Munster, however, still looked dangerous and their attacking threat was potent as they pushed to live up to their favorites tag.

Despite this, the Blues played some excellent rugby going forward, showing excellent hunger in attack whilst also defending with good ferocity.

Munster dominated the second half as they looked to impose themselves on the match to earn the expected victory. They had to fight in their quest to extend their 100 per cent start to the PRO12 season with the Blues making it a making it a close encounter.

Cardiff scored the first try of the match in the 23rd minute, Patchell finding Tavis Knoyle with a good pass before the scrum-half stormed through to score.

Patchell added the conversion to give the Blues a 10-point advantage. Munster responded almost instantly with a try of their own, Francis Saili with a long pass out to Mike Sherry on the wing, the hooker powering over to score his side's first try of the match. Ian Keatley added the conversion to cut the deficit to three points.

Munster took the lead in the 36th minute, Ian Keatley with a darting run through the Blues' defence.

The Blues weren't going to lie down that easily though, Patchell finding Richard Smith out on the wing who went over with the last play of the first half. Patchell added the conversion, giving the visitors a 14-17 lead at the break.

After the break Cardiff scored their third try of the match, outside centre Tom Isaacs going over the line to give the Blues a 10-point lead.

In the 52nd minute Munster responded, Sherry went over for his second try of the match following a driving maul. Keatley added the extras to cut the Blues' lead to three points.

Munster hit back in the 61st minute as Jordan Coghlan seized upon a loose ball a metre out after a sustained period of Munster pressure to score a deserved try for the home side.

Patchell added another penalty on 70 minutes to bring his side to within one point of the hosts heading into the final ten minutes.

This hope was quashed on 72 minutes as Andrew Conway went over to score Munster's fifth try, giving them a 35-27 lead. To add insult to injury Blues' Jevon Groves was sent to the sin-bin following the try.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Sherry 2, Keatley, Coghlan, Conway
Cons: Keatley 5

For Blues:
Tries: Knoyle, R Smith, Issacs
Cons: Patchell 3
Pens: Patchell 2
Yellow Card: Groves

Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Shane Monahan, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 CJ Stander (c), 7 Jack O'Donoghue, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Dave Foley, 4 Mark Chisholm, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 James Cronin, 18 John Ryan, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Jordan Coghlan, 21 Tomás O'Leary, 22 Denis Hurley, 23 Dave Johnston

Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Garyn Smith, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Richard Smith, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Harry Davies

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Sean Gallagher, Gary Glennon (both IRFU)
TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)