Keatley drags Munster past Zebre

Date published: January 30 2016

Ian Keatley helped Munster edge past Zebre in Parma as they maintain their chase for top spot in the PRO12 with a 16-12 win.

Zebre slump to eleventh in the PRO12 after being squeezed out by Munster on home soil.

Munster took an early lead through Mark Chisholm after five minutes, before penalties from the boot of Kelly Haimona bought the Italians back in to the game.

Ian Keatley missed several attempts at the posts in the second half, but Zebre failed to make their visitors pay.

The visitors opened the scoring after five minutes with confirmation from the TMO, as Chisholm found himself dabbing the ball down. Keatley converted with his first attempt at the posts.

Two penalties slotted by Haimona soon after brought Zebre back in to the tie, before a third kick from the tee took them in to a 9-7 lead on 19 minutes.

Two minutes later, a penalty from the boot of Keatley took the Irish side back in front, but Haimona quickly responded with yet another penalty kick.

Hooker Oliviero Fabiani was then sent to the sin-bin, leaving the Italians with fourteen men to defend against a pressing Munster side.

Keatley's second penalty of the game allowed Munster to go in at the break with a slender lead.

Five minutes after Fabiani returned to the field, Munster's Dave O'Callaghan was shown to the sin-bin, giving Zebre the numerical advantage having defended well while a man down themselves.

Shortly after the hour-mark Keatley had the chance to extend his side's lead, but having dragged his kick wide before making amends with a drop goal ten minutes later.

With five minutes left on the clock, Keatley missed another penalty, meaning Zebre remained within a single score, but the Irishmen were able to stay on top and see out a 16-12 victory at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

The scorers:

For Zebre: 
Pens: Haimona 4
Yellow Card: Fabiani

For Munster: 
Tries: Chisholm
Cons: Keatley
Pens: Keatley 2
Drop Goal: Keatley
Yellow Card: O'Callaghan

Zebre: 15 Kayle Van Zyl, 14 Dion Berryman, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Michele Visentin, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Emiliano Caffini, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Emiliano Coria, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Guillermo Roan, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Giulio Toniolatti, 22 Mils Muliaina, 23 Ulrich Beyers

Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Jack O'Donoghue, 6 Billy Holland (c), 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Dave Foley, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 James Cronin 
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Mario Sagario, 19 Dave O'Callaghan, 20 Shane Buckley, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Cian Bohane, 23 Gerhard van den Heever

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Elia Rizzo (Italy), Filippo Bertelli (Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)