Planet Rugby

Munster snuff out the Dragons

28th April 2007 20:00

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Denis Leamy

Leamy: Munster try-scorer

It's not of a consolation prize, but Munster nailed down a mid-table finish to their Magners League season by securing a drab 15-7 win over the Dragons Musgrave Park on Saturday.

In their penultimate home game of the season, Declan Kidney's side followed their 20-0 dismissal of the Scarlets with Irish internationals Donncha O'Callaghan and Denis Leamy touching down in the second half.

Having led 7-3 at the break, the Dragons failed to make any mark on the second period and were not helped by two sin-binnings in the space of three minutes for Jamie Ringer and Michael Owen.

Fly-half Aled Thomas, who claimed all of the Welsh side's points, helped the visitors settle early but he pushed a 12th-minute penalty chance wide of the posts.

He also missed an easier chance, eight minutes later, after Munster prop Marcus Horan had seen yellow for a scuffle with Andy Hall.

Munster upped their game in the following minutes, getting into the Dragons' 22 and lock Mick O'Driscoll, who took the man of the match award, was unfortunate to miss out on a try as referee Andy Macpherson called him back for a knock-on.

Ronan O'Gara did boot the hosts into the lead with a subsequent penalty, after a high tackle on Barry Murphy.

But the Dragons ended the half in front as Thomas, having missed his third kick at the posts, turned hero on 39 minutes when he intercepted a midfield pass from O'Gara and raced over for a try he converted himself.

However, Munster were soon back in charge after the break as Ringer, who was caught throwing punches, and skipper Owen, who put in a dangerous challenge on O'Driscoll at a line-out, were both given time to cool off on the sidelines.

The tries eventually came with O'Callaghan crossing the whitewash off a five-metre scrum.

O'Gara's conversion attempt went wide, but although the visitors were restored to their full compliment, Munster had enough power up front and dominance at the set piece to send Leamy charging over off the back of a 62nd-minute scrum.

However, injuries sustained by both Brian Carney and O'Callaghan will be of a concern to both the Munster and Ireland management teams.

The scorers:

For Munster:

Tries: Leamy, O'Callaghan

Con: O'Gara

Pen: O'Gara

For Bath:

Try: A Thomas

Con: A Thomas

Munster: 15 Christian Cullen, 14 Ian Dowling, 13 Barry Murphy, 12 Lifeimi Mafi , 11 Brian Carney, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 Denis Leamy, 7 John O'Sullivan, 6 Alan Quinlan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Frankie Sheahan, 1 Marcus Horan.

Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Federico Pucciariello, 18 David Wallace, 19 James Coughlan, 20 Brian O'Meara, 21 Jeremy Manning, 22 Mossie Lawlor.

Dragons: 15 Martin Thomas, 14 Richard Fussell, 13 Paul Emerick, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Alex Walker, 8 Michael Owen (c), 7 Jamie Ringer, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Peter Sidoli, 4 Andy Hall, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Ben Daly, 1 Adam Black.

Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Jamie Corsi, 18 David Maddocks, 19 Ian Gough, 20 Luke Charteris, 21 Ceri Sweeney/Kevin Morgan/Gareth Wyatt, 22 Gareth Cooper.

Referee: Andy Macpherson (SRU)

Touch judges: A Rogan (IRFU), E O'Dowd (IRFU)

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