Planet Rugby

Double for Zebo in Munster win

15th February 2014 20:33

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Simon Zebo Munster Heineken Cup

Brace: Simon Zebo

Tommy O'Donnell's 70th-minute try wrapped up a bonus-point 36-8 win for PRO12 leaders Munster against Zebre at Musgrave Park.

Tommaso D'Apice had initially given the Italian side the lead, but Simon Zebo touched down twice and JJ Hanrahan added five points from the boot as the Irish province opened up a 15-5 half-time advantage.

Guglielmo Palazzani kicked a penalty for the visitors in the second period, but they couldn't handle the power of the hosts and further scores from Ger Slattery (2) and O'Donnell secured a bonus-point win.

Even without their international stars, the Limerick-based outfit produced an impressively cohesive display to romp to a 54-13 victory over the Cardiff Blues last weekend.

Against another side struggling for form, a similar result seemed inevitable, but it was Zebre who opened the scoring through D'Apice.

Nevertheless, it didn't take long for the hosts to ease themselves into the game as Hanrahan's penalty reduced the deficit to 5-3.

Perhaps the only surprise was that it took until the 26th minute for Rob Penney's men to register their first try of the evening when the ever improving Zebo crossed the whitewash.

The Ireland player has struggled with injury over the last few months but has impressed since his return and could be in line for a recall to Joe Schmidt's squad.

He further underlined his form when the winger got on the end of James Cronin's pass to scamper over. Although Hanrahan's conversion attempt went wide of the uprights, Munster went into the break 15-5 ahead.

To their credit, Zebre continued to battle and hit back in the second period through the boot of Palazzani.

However, it didn't last long and Munster reasserted their dominance. Dries van Schalkwyk was sin-binned for the Italians and the home team took advantage when Slattery went over.

O'Donnell's score then secured the try bonus-point before Munster's replacement hooker completed his double to seal another comfortable win.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Zebo 2, Slattery 2, O'Donnell
Cons: Hanrahan, Keatley 3
Pen: Hanrahan

For Zebre:
Try: D'Apice
Pen: Palazzani
Yellow Card: van Schalkwyk

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Johne Murphy, 12 Ian Keatley, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Billy Holland (c), 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Ger Slattery, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Denis Hurley, 23 Andrew Conway

Zebre: 15 Guglielmo Palazzani, 14 David Odiete, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Roberto Quartaroli, 11 Dion Berryman, 10 Ruggero Trevisan, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Andries van Schalkwyk (c), 6 Filippo Cristiano, 5 George Biagi, 4 Michael van Vuren, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Tommaso D'Apice, 1 Andrea De Marchi
Replacements:16 Lorenzo Giovanchelli, 17 Luciano Leibson, 18 David Ryan, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Nicola Cattina, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Giulio Bisegni, 23 Giovanbattista Venditti

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Correll (Ireland), Dermot Blake (Ireland)
TMO: Jude Quinn (Ireland)

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