Munster breeze past poor Zebre

Date published: March 25 2016

Munster made light work of Zebre in their PRO12 clash at Thomond Park, running out 47-0 winners thanks to a seven-try victory on Friday.

A first-half penalty try was followed up by Rohan O'Mahony's effort as Munster took a 14 point lead into the break.

But the second 40 was total domination for the hosts. Simon Zebo scored twice, CJ Stander grabbed one along with Conor Murray.

The seventh and final try was the same as the first, a penalty as Munster recorded a hefty victory at Thomond Park.

Coming into this one off the 37-28 defeat at Cardiff Blues in the last round, the hosts had a point to prove against lowly Zebre. And they proved it perfectly in the first-half as the visitors were put to the sword.

After a strong start, Munster took the lead after powering their way through the Zebre defence. A firm maul was unfairly dragged to the ground and the penalty try was awarded. Johnny Holland made no mistake from his first shot at the posts, kicking safely though for the conversion.

Zebre were really struggling to impose themselves and their defensive work was made far tougher when they lost their first man to a yellow card. Quintin Geldenhuys, the captain, was issued with it after holding on.

Immediately, Munster took full advantage. A five metre scrum was too much for the 14 men to hold off, with O'Mahony crossing over the line and allowing Holland to make it 14-0.

The Italians lost another man minutes later, with the assistant flagging up an incident which saw Guilio Toniolatti sent to the bin until the break.

The final chance of the half fell to Zebre, but a kick at the posts from Kelly Haimona drifted wide of the target.

Not long after the break, Munster made it three tries to zero. Zebo got the third after 47 minutes, with Darren Sweetnam doing the hard work before offloading to the Irishman. Holland again kicked safely through, the lead now up to 21.

Six minutes later, a rout was truly on the cards when Zebo got his second try in six minutes. Sweetnam got the move started again and quick link up play saw Zebo go safely over. Murray converted this time, though this was by no means the final conversion action.

Next it was the turn of Stander, as three tries within six minutes turned a good lead into an uncatchable one.

Murray next switched from kicking duty to try scoring, going over in the corner as all the life was sucked quickly out of the visiting players. Murray, back on after a head injury, took back his spot and converted as Munster brought up the 40 point lead without Zebre even coming close to troubling the scoreboard.

The punishment wasn't over though, with the hosts approaching the 50 point mark. Penalty try number two took the try count up to seven with just over 10 minutes left to play, the conversion following to finish the scoring for the night, though in truth Munster could easily have had more. 

They were eventually able to call it a night just prior to the 50 point mark, with Munster storming back into form with a bang.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Penalty 2, O'Mahony, Zebo 2, Stander, Murray
Con: Holland 5, Murray

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 Johnny Holland, 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Jack O'Donoghue, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Billy Holland (c), 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 James Cronin, 18 Mario Sagario, 19 Dave Foley, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 David Johnston

Zebre: 15 Kayle Van Zyl, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Boni, 11 Giulio Toniolatti, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Johan Meyer, 7 Federico Ruzza, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (c), 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Guillermo Roan
Replacements: 16 Bruno Postiglioni, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Emiliano Caffini, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Ulrich Beyers, 23 Matteo Pratichetti

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: David Wilkinson, Helen O’Reilly (both IRFU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)