Planet Rugby

Munster deepen Blues' gloom

11th September 2009 21:08

Share:

Denis Leamy puffing

Denis Leamy: Killer try

Cardiff Blues have lost two out of two Magners League fixtures after a 24-13 defeat to Munster in Limerick on Friday.

The returning Alan Quinlan was to the fore of a Munster back row that bossed the breakdown at Thomond Park, aided by the brilliantly effective Niall Ronan and try-scoring number eight Denis Leamy.

The defending champions scored their first win in this season's competition, with tries from Marcus Horan and Leamy and a 14-point kicking contribution from impressive out-half Jeremy Manning.

Looking to recover from last week's home defeat by Edinburgh, Cardiff racked up points either side of half-time.

Xavier Rush got over for a converted try and Ben Blair kicked a penalty to close the gap to 16-13 but Munster, helped by a hungry bench, regained control to chalk up their eighth straight home win in all competitions.

Blues boss Dai Young made five changes from the Edinburgh game, the most notable of which saw Ceri Sweeney slot in at number 10 for Australian Sam Norton-Knight who endured a nightmare debut last week.

There were seasonal debuts for Quinlan and John Hayes as part of three changes for Munster.

The early pressure duly came from the hosts but Manning was off target from a penalty and drop-goal attempt.

Defences were on top, particularly in Cardiff's case as Robin Sowden-Taylor and Maama Molitika got up quickly to prevent Munster from gaining momentum.

The stalemate was broken after 18 minutes when an excellent kick chase from the Munster forwards forced Leigh Halfpenny to concede a penalty which Manning slotted over

However, Doug Howlett got isolated on the restart and his countryman Ben Blair kicked the Blues level.

As the first half wore on though, the visitors were the ones making the errors. An accidental offside by Dafydd Hewitt spoiled a superb run out of his 22 from Halfpenny.

It was a crucial mistake and from the resulting scrum, Leamy surged forward before a quick recycle saw Horan burrow past Rush for the first try.

Manning kicked the conversion and then fired over a 30-metre penalty, pushing Munster 16-3 ahead after a ruck offence from Rush.

But the big New Zealander was back on top form just before half-time. He scored a timely try, arcing his way past Peter Stringer on a fantastic run to the line after Blair's chip and chase had split the defence.

Blair's successful conversion made it 16-10 at half-time and the Kiwi full-back potted a difficult penalty, three minutes into the second half, to continue his side's resurgence.

But that was as good as it got for a Cardiff side containing 14 full internationals. They lost Molitika to the sin-bin for a late, shoulder-led challenge on Manning who responded well by kicking the penalty for 19-13.

With their dominance shining through again at the breakdown and set-piece, Munster bided their time and the second try arrived on the hour mark.

A barnstorming burst close to the right touchline from replacement Tony Buckley got the home side within sight of the line and Cardiff's fringe defence gave way at the next phase as Leamy twisted out of a tackle and over.

Manning missed the conversion and Munster lost centre Lifeimi Mafi to the sin-bin for interfering at a Cardiff ruck six minutes from the end, but the Blues found no way of mounting a comeback.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Horan, Leamy
Cons: Manning 2
Pens: Manning 4

For the Blues:
Try: Rush
Con: Blair
Pens: Blair 2

Yellow cards: Molitika (46, Cardiff Blues)

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Barry Murphy, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Denis Hurley, 10 Jeremy Manning, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Denis Leamy, 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Alan Quinlan, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Mick O'Driscoll (captain), 3 John Hayes, 2 Denis Fogarty, 1 Marcus Horan.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Tony Buckley, 18 Billy Holland, 19 Tommy O'Donnell, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Scott Deasy, 22 Tom Gleeson.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Gareth Thomas, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Gareth Cooper, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Robin Sowden-Taylor, 6 Mamma Molitika, 5 Paul Tito, 4 Deiniol Jones, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Rhys Thomas, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Gary Powell, 17 Gareth Williams, 18 Scott Morgan, 19 Andy Powell, 20 Richie Rees, 21 Sam Norton-Knight, 22 Dafydd James.

Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Alan Rogan (Ireland), Mark Gargan (Ireland)
Television match official: Sean Flannery (Ireland)
Assessor: Bertie Smith (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Preview
Counties Manukau vs OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Preview
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00