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Munster stutter past Aironi

28th October 2011 23:02

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SKY_MOBILE Ronan OGara Munster October 2011

Ronan O'Gara: Stole the show

Munster ground out an unconvincing 18-6 victory over Aironi at Musgrave Park to continue their excellent RaboDirect Pro 12 form.

Just like Jonny Sexton earlier in the evening, returning Ireland fly-half Ronan O'Gara scored six penalties in a superb display to aid Munster's play-off ambitions.

With their World Cup stars having returned from international duty, the Irish side were expected to easily roll over the bottom-placed Aironi. However, despite the influence of O'Gara and Keith Earls, Munster struggled to break down a stubborn Italian defence.

Instead, they were reliant on the returning Ireland pivot to exert his influence. The hosts' number ten scored two penalties in the first 10 minutes to seemingly set them on their way, but Aironi were resilient and hit back through one of their own from Luciano Orquera.

But it was the metronomic boot of O'Gara in comparison to the wayward kicking of Orquera that was proving the difference. While the Argentinean-born Italian international missed three of his four first-half attempts, O'Gara was typically consistent as he kicked his third three-pointer just before the break.

The start of the second period was almost identical to the first as Munster's fly-half continued his fine form with a brace of early penalties. O'Gara then scored his sixth before Fabio Staibano was sin-binned for the visitors. But the hosts couldn't capitalise and it was in fact Orquera who reduced the deficit to 12 points for the final score of the match.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Pens: O'Gara 6

For Aironi:
Pens: Orquera 2

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Will Chambers, 12 Danny Barnes, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Peter O'Mahony, 6 Denis Leamy, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 John Hayes, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Niall Ronan, 21 Tomas O'Leary, 22 Scott Deasy, 23 Lifeimi Mafi.

Aironi: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Gilberto Pavan, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Nicola Cattina, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Joshua Furno, 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Luca Redolfini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Filippo Ferrarini, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Naas Olivier, 23 Giulio Toniolatti.

Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)

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