Munster boss Graham Rowntree at last night's game. Ashley Crowden/INPHO

Rowntree: 'We haven’t won on the road enough. This was about regaining momentum'

Munster eventually powered to a 42-7 win against Scarlets last night.

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Graham Rowntree admitted he wasn’t happy at half-time at Parc Y Scarlets — and when Joe Roberts went through his midfield defence like a hot knife through butter to make it a one score game after 50 minutes, he confessed to be concerned.

In the end, though, everything worked out well for the reigning URC champions as a flurry of four tries in the final quarter turned a potentially difficult night’s work into a comfortable win.

There were six tries in all, two from No 8 Gavin Coombes in the first half and then those four in the final flourish, with Joey Carberry converting all of them to clinch a 42-7 victory. The reward was a temporary five-place move up the league table into a play-off place.

“I’m pleased with the scoreline, but we were a bit disjointed. I wasn’t very happy at half time after a bright start,” said Rowntree.

“We lost our way a bit and we tried to be a bit too fancy in the second quarter. Half time was about sticking to the process and the plan, but we were a bit disjointed in the third quarter.

“The Scarlets were really tenacious in the defence of their goal line for huge periods. So much so, at times I wondered how many players we were playing against.”

In fact, the Scarlets put in 197 tackles during the game as they emptied their tank.

Although Warren Gatland had released Roberts and prop Kemsley Mathias from his Six Nations squad to play in the game, the home side were still missing five key players.

“We eventually broke the door down in the final quarter. We haven’t won on the road enough this season, although we had a famous away European win in Toulon,” added Rowntree.

“We haven’t done it enough in the URC and that’s a big target for us. This game was all about gaining momentum.

“We have a five-game run now. We have a friendly against Harlequins next week, which I asked for, and then we go into a huge block of three URC games which we need to use to get us up the league.

“We demonstrated last year what we can do on the road with our late run, so tonight was all about regaining that momentum. The scoreboard tonight belies the tenacity of the Scarlets.

“I think a few too many players thought it was going to be easy after those two early tries. You’ve got to go through them first – so there is plenty to work on.”

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