Late Butler try breaks Blues

Date published: November 1 2014

Paddy Butler’s try in the closing minutes snatched a crucial away win in the Pro12 for Munster over Cardiff Blues by 28-24.

Paddy Butler’s try in the closing minutes snatched a crucial away win in the Pro12 for Munster over Cardiff Blues by 28-24.

JJ Hanrahan gave his Munster side a four point advantage in the first half, with the Irish side leading 14-18 at the whistle, after he successfully landed all six of his penalty chances.

Despite the visitors taking the lead, it was Cardiff who scored the only try of the first half, courtesy of debutant Lucas Amorosino.

Rhys Patchell also scored three penalties for the Blues but they still trailed at the half time whistle. Manoa Vosawai scored the opening try of the second half for Cardiff but his efforts, combined with a penalty and conversion for Gareth Davies, was not enough to win the game.

Another Hanrahan penalty and a try for Paddy Butler denied the home side a much needed victory and moved the visitors further up the table. Munster dominated the opening minutes of the game and they were soon rewarded with an early penalty for Hanrahan.

The early ferociousness of the visitors shook Cardiff and they soon stepped up their own game, taking the majority of the possession in the first half from that point. Patchell landed his first penalty shortly after Hanrahans but despite their confidence, a silly mistake by Cardiff gave the Munster fly-half the chance to kick for goal again.

The Blues took the next penalty but once again that was wiped out by two quick Munster penalties and all of the home side’s hard work was being ruined by errors. Hanrahan and Patchell took it in turns to score penalties for their sides before finally Cardiff’s dominance in going forward paid off.

A quick pass out from the tackle was collected by Patchell who had close support from Amorosino on his left, with the winger getting in a great position to score the try.

Munster had the final say with another Hanrahan penalty on the 39th minute, taking the score to 14-18 at half time.

Cardiff continued to make the metres in the second half but it took them until the final 20 minutes of the game to break the Munster defence. Fijian-born Vosawai showed outstanding strength to force his way over the line with Davies scoring the conversion after taking over kicking duties from an injured Patchell.

Hanrahan’s fine kicking form continued into the second half and his 69th minute penalty brought the two teams equal, 21-21 apiece. Cardiff were awarded a penalty with just over seven minutes remaining and Davies kept his cool to put his side back in the lead.

However it was heartbreak for Cardiff who were unable to hold out a sustained attack from the visitors in the dyeing minutes.

Butler dragged the Blues defenders over the line with him in his determination to score and Johnny Holland’s successful conversion gave Munster the 24-28 victory.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Tries: Amorosino, Vosawai
Con: G Davies
Pens: Patchell 3

For Munster:
Try: Butler
Con: J Holland
Pens: Hanrahan 7

Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Adam Thomas, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Lucas Gonz