Planet Rugby

Munster hit back against Gloucester

19th October 2013 19:59

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Munster celebrate Johne Murphy try

Back on the horse: Munster

Munster bounced back from their loss at Edinburgh with a 26-10 Heineken Cup win over Gloucester on Saturday.

Damien Varley's try and 11 points from the boot of Ian Keatley gave the Irish province a 16-10 advantage at the interval, while Charlie Sharples' touchdown and Jonny Bentley's penalty was the Cherry and Whites' response.

Keatley then added a three-pointer in the second period and set up Johne Murphy's score as they secured a comfortable win.

Despite these sides enduring contrasting fortunes in round one of the competition, with the visitors defeating Perpignan and the home side losing to Edinburgh, Munster were heavy favourites for this encounter.

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies decided to leave a number of first choice players at home and they were under pressure immediately. Rob Penney's men dominated early possession and territory and successive Keatley penalties saw them go into a 6-0 lead.

The fly-half then added a third from the tee as the Irish province further cemented their position before the West Country outfit fought back.

With their first real foray in the opposition 22, Dan Robson found an overlap on the short side and he put Sharples over for an opportunistic score. Bentley converted, but Munster responded with a try of their own, following confirmation by the Television Match Official, when Varley powered over.

Gloucester's fly-half did reduce the arrears just before the break, but the hosts still led at half-time.

The second period started much like the first with Penney's side controlling proceedings, but they struggled to break down a solid rearguard.

However, Keatley finally registered the first points of the half via a penalty with 14 minutes to go before they killed off the game when the pivot produced a delightful cross-kick which Murphy collected and scored.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Varley, Murphy
Con: Keatley 2
Pen: Keatley 4

For Gloucester:
Try: Sharples
Con: Bentley
Pen: Bentley

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Peter O'Mahony (capt), 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 James Coughlan, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Denis Hurley.

Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Jonny May, 10 Jonny Bentley, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Will James (capt), 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawiduik, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Daniel George, 17 James Gibbons, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 James Hudson, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Rob Cook.

Referee: Jerome Garces (France)

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