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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 18 October, 2019


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Hello and welcome to this evening’s coverage of Munster v Benetton Treviso as Anthony Foley’s men get their 2015/16 Champions Cup campaign under way.

We’ll remind you of the team news shortly but, with kick-off not for another hour (5.15pm), there’s still loads of time to get the kettle on.

Here’s the Munster team:

15. Andrew Conway
14. Keith Earls
13. Francis Saili
12. Denis Hurley
11. Simon Zebo
10. Ian Keatley
9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Mike Sherry
3. BJ Botha
4. Donnacha Ryan
5. Mark Chisholm
6. Dave O’Callaghan
7. Jack O’Donoghue
8. CJ Stander (capt)


16. Duncan Casey
17. James Cronin
18. John Ryan
19. Dave Foley
20. Robin Copeland
21. Tomás O’Leary
22. Rory Scannell
23. Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino

And Benetton-Treviso’s team

15. Luke McLean
14. Ludovico Nitoglia
13. Jayden Hayward
12. Enrico Bacchin
11. Tommaso Iannone
10. James Ambrosini
9. Edoardo Gori

1. Matteo Zanusso
2. Ornel Gega
3. Rupert Harden
4. Duncan Naude
5. Jean-François Montauriol
6. Francesco Minto
7. Alessandro Zanni (capt)
8. Braam Steyn.

16. Davide Giazzon
17. Matteo Muccignat
18. Filippo Filippetto
19. Dean Budd
20. Marco Barbini
21. Andrea de Marchi
22. Chris Smylie
23. Sam Christie

Conditions progressively worsening in Limerick. If you’re hoping for some free-flowing rugby, you’re unlikely to see it.

We’re almost ready to get under way here. It’s far from a full house in Thomond but, given the conditions, that’s not entirely a surprise.

The minute’s silence before kick-off to mark the events in Paris last night was perfectly observed.


Matthew Carley gets the game under way with Treviso, playing from right to left, kicking off.


Luke McLean is tested early with a high ball and he spills it forward. I doubt that’s the last handling error we’ll see in tonight’s game.


Munster win the penalty after the Italians are penalised for collapsing the scrum.

After some deliberation, the touch judge decides the hoome side did find touch.


That’s really good from Munster to score the games first try as Botha goes over following a number of quick, short carries.

Despite conditions, Keatley nails the extras to make it 7-0.


It’s all Munster so far and Conor Murray’s inside ball almost gets them over for their second try but Treviso’s defence stands firm.

Flag 9Mins

The referee is asking the TMO ‘try yes or no’ after Botha goes over again but the prop has lost it in contact so it’ll be a knock-on and 5m scrum.


Treviso’s Braam Steyn does well to claim the ball at the base of a wheeling scrum to ease the pressure on the visitors.


The first 11 minutes of this game has been played almost exclusively inside the Treviso 22. Munster awarded another penalty and kick for touch again.


Set piece play is not as smooth from Munster this time and Treviso are awarded another scrum.


Wow. Out of absolutely nowhere, Treviso score a try.

Munster won a lineout but Braam Steyn charges down the kick before showing a turn of pace and just getting down at the back of the in-goal area.

The extras are added and we’ve a level game.

Flag 19Mins

PENALTY – Munster 10-7 Treviso

This time Munster point to the posts after being awarded a penalty and Keatley makes no mistake to put the home side back in front.


Munster should just keep kicking the ball high. Another Garryowen drifts and drifts in the wind and Earls almost gets through.

Another knock-on from Munster gives the ball back to Treviso via a scrum.


The rain is also back after staying away for the opening 20 minutes.

Munster are awarded another kickable penalty but opt to go for the corner as conditions worsen.

Flag 30Mins

Replacements – A couple of replacements with Treviso captain Alessandro Zanni replaced by Marco Barbini while Duncan Casey has come on for Mike Sherry at hooker.


Sloppy from Munster here with Botha penalised for collapsing the scrum to give Treviso a chance to clear their lines.


Simon Zebo is undergoing intensive treatment on the field but he seems to have recovered from the knock.

Munster really forcing the play and making too many errors. Conditions are playing their part but the home side are attempting too many offloads given the weather.


Mike Sheery’s first European game in two years has ended with a knee injury after trying to pick up a loose ball. That’s really tough on him.


It’s incredibly flat both on and off the field in Thomond.

Munster started at a really good tempo but that’s all disappeared now. Far too many errors from both sides.

The way Munster started the game you’d have thought they might be well on their way to a bonus point win at this stage. That could still happen, of course, but they really need to cut the errors out in the second period.


Ian Keatley gets us under way in the second half. Surely we’ll see better from Munster.


Munster start the second half the way they started the first and have won a second penalty close to the Treviso line and have gone for touch both times.

But they lose the lineout.


Here’s your attendance figures:


Credit to Treviso, they’ve done all that’s been asked of them so far but Munster’s questions aren’t all that pressing to be honest.

The home side win another kickable penalty — and we may be close to a yellow card soon — and Keatley kicks for the posts this time.


Keatley makes no mistake nudging it through the posts and Munster’s lead is out to six.


Munster make another change with Dave Kilcoyne replaced by James Cronin.


Better passage of play from Munster as Earls and Zebo link up down the left before Francis Saili tries the little grubber kick that just goes into touch.

That’s great from Munster and CJ Stander is the man who gets over. That’s his third try against the Italians this season. Keatley snatches at the conversion and it remains 18-7.

Munster still need two tries for the bonus point.


Munster guilty once more of trying a little too hard and what may have been a tricky scrum for Treviso ends in a penalty to the visitors.


Munster have a lineout five metres out after a mistake by McLean. Maul coming.


That’s so much better from Munster and the birthday boy Casey scores. The home side have ten minutes to get the bonus point.

Keatley fires over the conversion to make it 25-7


BJ Botha who scored tonight’s first try is replaced by John Ryan. Eight minutes to play.

Flag 74Mins

Yellow card – Treviso down to 14

Matteo Muccignat will see out the rest of the game in the bin. Munster have a penalty and kick for the corner with six to play.


And that’s the bonus point try with just four minutes to play. The Italian defence were tied up around the fringes and Zebo struck for the simplest of tries. Keatley nails the extras and Munster lead 32-7.

Flag 79Mins

Captain CJ Stander is awarded the Champions Cup Man of the Match award. Hard to argue with that decision really.

Munster get the win and it’s a 15th defeat on the trot for the visitors.

It was far from convincing for large swathes of the game but Anthony Foley’s charges eventually did what was expected of them with four minutes to spare.

That’s it from me. Thanks as always for checking in.

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke