Munster do enough against Scarlets

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:22
Large robin copeland munster v scarlets 2018 800

PRO14 REPORT: Munster recovered from a slow start to beat Scarlets at Thomond Park and keep them well on course for a Pro14 Finals Series berth.

Scarlets started the stronger of the two sides, with scrum-alf Aled Davies scoring early on, but they couldn’t make their early dominance pay and Munster hit back through James Hart.

After the break, Munster were the better side and man-of-the-match Robin Copeland finished off a good period of play from a line-out, with Alex Wootton securing the win with only a few minutes remaining.

Scarlets made a blistering start to the game, running with the ball in hand at every opportunity and testing the Munster defence.

The Welsh side took the lead after just seven minutes, as Tom Williams burst through the Munster backline and picked out James Davies on his left, who found A Davies in support to fling himself over the whitewash.

Scarlets continued to press as Munster struggled to settle into the game, but the home side thought they had drawn level when Wootton intercepted inside his 22 to score.

However, the TMO adjudged that Wootton had knocked on as the ball struck his bicep in the build up to the try.

Scarlets continued to dominate the territory, punishing Munster for not kicking into the stands, taking quick line-out after quick line-out to run at the defence.

When Munster did find some territory of their own, they immediately looked threatening, with the forward pack muscling over the Scarlets try line only for the ball to be held up.

Moments later, on 27 minutes, Munster did score, with Hart forcing his way over the line, despite the best efforts of three Scarlets defenders.

The first half's dominant side, Scarlets, sought to extend their lead before the interval, but Patchell could only strike the post with a penalty, making it 7-5 to the away side at half-time.

Munster improved after the interval and on 47 minutes they took the lead through Copeland.

Four phases of quick ball following a five-metre line-out pushed the Scarlets defence back and the No.8 picked the ball up to drive over the line.

Scarlets flank J Davies was lucky to avoid a yellow card after a trip on Sammy Arnold as the Munster centre kicked through.

Munster then felt aggrieved to not have a third try when James Cronin burst over the try line, but the referee deemed that he was guilty of making a double movement.

The crowd grew restless and Scarlets fought to reduce the five-point deficit, with Steff Evans going close a few minutes later, dancing down the wing but unable to latch onto his kick forward.

With the game still in the balance JJ Hanrahan broke clear and set Munster off in the Scarlets 22.

After more than 12 phases of play, substitute Dan Goggin sprayed a long, looping pass out wide, over the Scarlets defenders and into the arms of Wootton, who was able to evade Tom Varndell to score and secure the win.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Hart, Copeland, Wootton
Cons: Keatley 2

For Scarlets:
Try: Davies
Con: Patchell


Munster: 15 JJ Hanrahan, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Sammy Arnold, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Alex Wootton, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 James Hart, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 6 Jack O’Donoghue, 5 Billy Holland (captain), 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Gerbrandt Grobler, 20 Dave O’Callaghan, 21 Jack Stafford, 22 Stephen Fitzgerald, 23 Dan Goggin.

Scarlets: 15 Tom Williams, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Scott Williams (captain), 12 Paul Asquith, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Will Boyde, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Dylan Evans.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Phil Price, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Steff Hughes.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Andrea Piardi, Manuel Bottino (Italy)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (Italy)


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Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
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Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
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London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
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Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
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Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 19 15 1 3 75
Munster 20 13 0 7 67
Cheetahs 20 11 0 9 58
Cardiff Blues 20 11 0 9 53
Ospreys 19 8 0 11 40
Connacht 20 6 0 14 34
Zebre 19 5 0 14 24
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 20 14 1 5 70
Scarlets 20 13 1 6 65
Edinburgh 20 14 0 6 64
Ulster 19 11 1 7 55
Treviso 20 11 0 9 54
Dragons 20 2 2 16 20
Kings 20 1 0 19 11