Munster too hot for Dragons

Date published: February 10 2017

Munster were too good for the Dragons as they ran out comfortable 45-17 winners in Cork to remain top of the PRO12 standings.

Jaco Taute (2), Andrew Conway and a penalty try cancelled out Rhys Buckley's effort as Munster went in 31-10 to the good.

Elliot Dee struck 20 minutes into the second half for the visitors, but Dave Kilcoyne grabbed the fifth try soon after to stop any hopes of a turnaround. And Ronan O'Mahony made sure of the win late on with the sixth as Munster eased to victory.

With seven wins on the spin, Munster looked like having a straight forward night ahead as the Dragons came to town. And it took just seven minutes for them to go ahead with a penalty from Tyler Bleyendaal sailing through.

Dragons levelled though Dorian Jones. He kicked through after strong work by Tyler Morgan, who barged his way forward to draw the offence. 

But Munster stamped their mark on the game a quarter of an hour in. The pack drove themselves up towards the line and as the Dragons tried to hold them out, Taute found himself with plenty of space to crash over.

Dragons put pressure on at the other end but when it looked as though the try would be theirs, it went horribly wrong. Bleyendaal intercepted and raced clear, kicking ahead for Conway who beat Jones for pace to reach the ball and go over. Bleyendaal converted for his second of the night, and he had plenty more chances to add to that tally.

After defending for their lives for much of the half, the third try came as Munster powered their way towards the line. And a pass from Williams proved the final straw for Dragons backline as Taute got his second of the night.

The conversion made it 24-13, but Dragons did drag themselves back into it before the break. Morgan went quickly after an infringement, but the referee pulled it back which let Jones kick to the corner. A driving maul formed and Buckley had ball in hand to crash down and take Dragons to double figures.

But the crushing blow came right on half-time as Munster made it four tries. The hosts were knocking at the door after a scrum and having spent a fair amount of time waiting to find the gap, the referee awarded a penalty try after a knock on from Carl Meyer as he tried to steal possession. He was shown a yellow and Munster had a 31-10 lead at the break.

It was the turn of the hosts to lose a man 10 minutes into the second half, with Darren O'Shea sin-binned for failing to use his arms as he went into a ruck. The yellow allowed Dragons back into the game and they got their second try through Dee. Jones went to the corner and the visitors kept pushing, with a driving maul forcing the hosts back and giving the visitors new found hope.

It didn't last for long though because Munster grabbed a fifth try. The speed of the passing was too much for the Dragons and Kilcoyne bundled through.

And that wasn't the last of it because Munster hit the Dragons for a sixth late on. O'Mahony was the man on hand to grab the final try of a destructive night, with the conversion finishing the scoring off at 45-17.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Taute 2, Conway, Penalty Try, Kilcoyne, O'Mahony
Cons: Bleyendaal 6
Pen: Bleyendaal
Yellow Card: O'Shea

For Dragons:
Tries: Buckley, Dee
Cons: Jones 2
Pens; Jones
Yellow Card: Meyer

Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal (c), 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Jack O'Donoghue, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Dave Foley, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16 Kevin O'Byrne, 17 Peter McCabe, 18 Brian Scott, 19 Darren O'Shea, 20 Conor Oliver, 21 Abrie Griesel, 22 Francis Saili, 23 Dan Goggin

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Lewis Evans (c), 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Ollie Griffiths, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Rhys Buckley, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Nick Crosswell, 20 Harrison Keddie, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Angus O'Brien, 23 Sam Beard

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Keith Allen (Scotland), Stuart Douglas (Ireland)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)