Confidence boosting win for Munster

Thomond Park. Photo: Diarmuid Greene.

AHEAD of next weekend’s massive Champions Cup outing at Northampton Saints, Munster received a timely boost with a fine 20-15 defeat of Cardiff at Thomond Park on Easter Saturday in front of around 15,500 spectators.

With 19 points secured out of a possible 20 over the last four outings in the URC competition, Munster – the title holders – are up to fourth in the table.

With his first try for the home side, Jack Crowley, in an overall haul of 15 points, was the stand-out performer.

Through Crowley, Munster were 3-0 ahead at the interval.

This advantage was extended when captain Tadhg Beirne crossed for a try shortly after half-time, with Crowley on target with the conversion.

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Plucky Cardiff, however, dominated for a while thereafter and a converted try, along with a penalty had the visitors 12-10 in front around the dawn of the last quarter.

Then came the magic of Crowley with his five-pointer, to which he added the extras (17-12).

Crowley made the contest safe with another fine penalty inside the closing stages.

“It means a lot for us in terms of going forward and ending this block on a high,” Crowley told RTÉ Sport.

An injury concern, however, surrounds World Cup winner RG Snyman, a late withdrawal through illness.

Munster: Mike Haley (Simon Zebo 72); Seán O’Brien, Antoine Frisch, Alex Nankivell (Joey Carbery 56), Shane Daly; Jack Crowley, Craig Casey (Ethan Coughlan 76); Jeremy Loughman (Josh Wycherley 65), Niall Scannell (Eoghan Clarke 65), Stephen Archer (John Ryan 58); Tom Ahern (Alex Kendellen 72), Tadhg Beirne (captain); Peter O’Mahony (Jack Daly 76), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.