MUNSTER played some scintillating rugby to brush past Dragons in perfect conditions at Thomond Park.
Johann Van Graan’s side make it eight wins from eleven in the URC this season. The red men will be in fine form heading to South Africa for their next two games.
Player of the Match Craig Casey scored twice with Jack O’Donoghue and Chris Cloete also touching down for a first-half bonus-point.
Simon Zebo, of course, got in on the act in the second half along with the excellent Chris Farrell. Jack Crowley kicked five conversions with Ben Healy adding two conversions.
Casey opened up the scoring near the ten minute mark with a beautiful snipe and a hand off to stroll over the line for the five pointer. Crowley added the extras from the left side of the field.
Dragons responded well and Sam Davies kicked their first penalty on 15 minutes from close-range after Crowley was pinged for not rolling away.
Casey was in for his second try on 22 minutes after diving over from a yard after Munster pounded away on the line with Jean Kleyn and Farrell carrying well in the build-up. Crowley’s simple conversion made it 14-3 after 23 minutes. The third try arrived directly from the restart after a brilliant move from inside the 22.
Farrell made the initial break to race clear of the Dragons defence before passing left for Mike Haley to take it on and his pass inside for Jack O’Donoghue was finished expertly by the speedy flanker. Crowley made it 21-3 off the tee.
A John Ryan break provided the impetus for the next Munster break with Crowley and Farrell releasing Cloete to score in the left corner. Crowley’s touchline conversion made it 28-3 at the interval.
Munster continued the onslaught in the second half with Casey’s quick tap and pass allowing Zebo to canter in for the easiest of scores.
The hosts scored again directly off the restart as Haley did brilliantly to take the kick-off. He broke the defensive line before sending Farrell through for another great score.
Offloads from Crowley, Gavin Coombes and Haley set up Shane Daly for the seventh try on 59 minutes. Casey whipped a great pass for Cloete to score his second try in the right corner. That try made it 50-3 as the scores kept coming for Munster.
Another great try off a lineout saw Healy, Dan Goggin and Rory Scannell show great hands to release Hodnett for the ninth try with Healy converting. Hodnett then turned provider as his offload released Daly whose pass inside for O’Donoghue gave Munster a record-equalling 10th try.
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