Munster assured a home semi-final in the Magners League play-offs with a narrow 13-6 victory away to the Scarlets on Saturday.
Munster virtually assured a home semi-final place in the Magners League play-offs with a narrow 13-6 victory over the Scarlets.
In a scrappy and tense encounter, young winger Simon Zebo scored the decisive try 13 minutes from the end of the match.
Full-back Paul Warwick kicked two penalties and a conversion for their seventh consecutive victory.
Scarlets fly-half Rhys Priestland scored all of the Scarlets points but he couldn't prevent his side going down to only their second home league defeat in the last seven matches.
Between two of the top-four contenders, the game remained scoreless in the opening quarter, before Priestland finally broke the deadlock.
Nearing the end of the first period Munster stepped up the intensity and with three minutes to go before the break, Warwick levelled the scores with a penalty.
The Irish side then took the lead with the last kick of the half through Warwick, to leave the match finely poised at 3-6. Early in the second period and Priestland had the chance to slot another three points, but his effort missed the target.
However, he made up for his effort soon after with another penalty. With under a quarter-of-an-hour to go Zebo went over for the decisive try with Warwick converting.
And Priestland had a final chance to reduce the arrears, but his effort once again went wide. Munster held on to confirm their dominance in the league but the Scarlets at least had the consolation of the losing bonus-point.
Pens: Priestland 2
Pens: Warwick 2
Scarlets: 15 Morgan Stoddart, 14 George North, 13 Regan King, 12 Gareth Maule, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 David Lyons, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 Josh Turnbull, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Matthew Rees (c),1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Aaron Shingler, 20 Damian Welch, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Stephen Jones, 23 Scott Williams.
Munster: 15 Paul Warwick; 14 Simon Zebo, 13 Johne Murphy, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Danny Barnes; 10 Declan Cusack, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Denis Leamy (c), 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Tommy O'Donnell, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Marcus Horan.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Darragh Hurley, 18 John Hayes, 19 Alan Quinlan, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Scott Deasy.
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Referee: Alan Lewis (IRFU).
Assistant Referees: Tim Hayes, Huw Griffiths (both WRU).
TMO: Tony Rowlands (WRU).