Munster outclass Benetton
PRO14 REPORT: Munster produced a first-half attacking masterclass as they ran in five tries to effectively kill the game at the break and secure a 34-3 win PRO14 win against Benetton Rugby.
Scores from Jean Kleyn, Tyler Bleyendaal, Darren Sweetnam, Alex Wootton and Andrew Conway in the first half saw Munster punish the visitors, while Kleyn added a second after the break.
Munster, looking to bounce back from defeat to the Scarlets in last year’s final, scored an early try after just eight minutes as Kleyn went over from close range.
After a period of sustained pressure, Chris Farrell very nearly going over for the home side, Munster finally struck and took the lead.
Bleyendaal added the extras as Munster raced into a 7-0 lead after just nine minutes of the game.
And it got worse for the Italians just four minutes later as Bleyendaal scored his side’s second try. A Benetton turnover just over halfway saw Conway kick through, and after yet more pressure, Bleyendaal danced over; this time he missed his kick at goal though.
Benetton, looking for only their fourth win over Munster in 21 attempts, got themselves back into the game on 19 minutes as Marty Banks fired over a penalty after a spell of territory that saw the Italians have a five-metre scrum.
The tries kept on coming for Munster though and on 26 minutes it was Sweetnam to go over next for the home side, with lovely hands by Alex Wootton creating the score. Unfortunately, Bleyendaal missed his kick at goal on this occasion.
Just past the half-hour mark and Munster added try number four as Conway started a glorious move that was finished off by Wootton, with Bleyendaal missing his conversion.
Benetton were now all at sea and unable to cope with the constant Munster attacks, and it wasn’t long before Munster went over again for their fifth try of the evening as Conway scored after a wonderful offload from Sweetnam to leave the half-time score at 27-3 to the home side.
Shortly after the interval Munster crossed the whitewash again as Kleyn scored his second try of the game, with Bleyendaal adding the extras to make it 34-3.
If the first 40 minutes was all about attack for Munster, it was the opposite after the break as the Irish side were forced to dig deep against a much-improved Italian outfit.
There were plenty of positives for Benetton to take from the second half but finishing off their chances and their accuracy in the opposition 22 is certainly something the Italians will need to work on in the weeks ahead.
It was fitting Conway was handed the man of the match award late on after producing a wonderful first-half attacking display, and then backing it up with a defensive shift after the break.
Tries: Kleyn 2, Bleyendaal, Sweetnam, Wootton, Conway
Cons: Bleyendaal 2
Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Darren Sweetnam,13 Chris Farrell, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Alex Wootton, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal (captain), 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Jack O'Donoghue, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Sean O'Connor, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Liam O'Connor.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Brian Scott, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Fineen Wycherley, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 James Hart, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Dan Goggin.
Treviso: 15 Ian McKinley, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Tommaso Allan, 11 Edoardo Gori, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Sebastian Negri, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Marco Lazzaroni, 4 Dean Budd (captain), 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Federico Zani.
Replacements: 16 Engjel Makelara, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Alberto Sgarbi, 23 Andrea Buondonno.
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: Craig Evans (Wales) Gary Conway (Ireland)
TMO: Neil Hennessy (Wales)