Munster edge Blues

24th Feb 2012, 21:15

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Try for Munster: Felix Jones

Try for Munster: Felix Jones

Munster held on to beat Cardiff Blues 16-13 in the Rabodirect Pro12 at Thomond Park on Friday.

Munster held on to beat Cardiff Blues 16-13 in the Rabodirect Pro12 at Thomond Park on Friday.

The result sees Munster consolidate their position in the Pro12 play-off places.

It was Munster who dominated the opening period and deservedly went in ahead at half time. Felix Jones went over for the solitary first half try to go alongside three Ian Keatley penalties.

Dan Parks responded with a penalty for Cardiff before they mounted a second-half revival when Richard Mustoe scored and Parks added a second three-pointer, but it wasn't enough as the hosts held on.

Despite an inconsistent domestic campaign, two successive domestic victories have propelled the Blues into play-off contention. And in search of their third the visitors went ahead through the reliable boot of Parks, but Keatley responded with one of his own after nine minutes.

Going into this game, both sides had games in hand over their rivals, however, it was Munster who were taking the initiative.

Jones rewarded their dominance when he scampered across the whitewash, the hosts' fly-half adding the extras.

Keatley then kicked a three-pointer to extend their advantage before converting another opportunity as the Irish province led 16-3 at the break.

However, Cardiff hit back after the interval through Mustoe. With Alex Curthbert on Wales duty, the winger was given an opportunity to start and rewarded his selection with an early second half score. Parks converted and then narrowed the gap with his second penalty as the visitors started to get a grip on proceedings.

But their progress was halted somewhat when Paul Tito was sin-binned and Munster ground out the victory.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Try: Jones
Con: Keatley
Pen: Keatley 3

For Cardiff:
Try: Mustoe
Con: Parks
Pens: Parks, Blair

Yellow card: Tito (Cardiff - 69th min)

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll (capt), 4 Billy Holland, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Marcus Horan.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Scott Deasy, 23 Luke O'Dea.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Gavin Henson, 11 Tom James, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Maama Molitika, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 Paul Tito (c), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Ryan Tyrell, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Sam Hobbs, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Ben Blair.

Venue: Thomond ParkReferee: Leighton Hodges