Munster power past Leicester
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Munster Rugby picked up a crucial bonus point victory against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
Munster came out 33-10 victors at Thomond Park in a match that has given the Irish province a four-point cushion at the top of European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 4.
Johann van Graan's men got off to a flying start and went 10 points ahead inside 20 minutes after a penalty from Ian Keatley and a try from Rhys Marshall who had to juggle the ball before going over.
Simon Zebo then exploded into life, scoring to extend the Munster lead before the sides exchanged penalties prior to the interval, giving the Irish province a 20-point cushion at the break.
Peter O'Mahony effectively clinched the match for Munster just before the hour mark after two slick offloads from Zebo and replacement Darren Sweetnam set up O'Mahony for the simple finish.
Harry Thacker scored Leicester's sole try late on, but not before Chris Cloete rounded the evening off with a powerful drive and subsequent try, much to the delight of the Thomond Park faithful.
The two sides will meet again next weekend at Welford Road, with Leicester needing a victory to close the gap on their Pool 4 rivals.
Tries: Marshall, Zebo, O'Mahony, Cloete
Cons: Keatley 2
Pens: Keatley 3
Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Sam Arnold, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Alex Wootton, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements:16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Brian Scott, 18 John Ryan, 19 Darren O’Shea, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Darren Sweetnam
Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Mathew Tait, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Luke Hamilton, 6 Valentino Mapapalangi, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Kyle Traynor
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Chris Baumann, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Nick Malouf
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Ludovic Cayre (France), Jonathan Dufort (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)