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Munster earn comprehensive win over Benetton amid return to Musgrave Park

It was their first game at the venue since February 2020.

Damien de Allende scores a try.
Damien de Allende scores a try.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Munster 51

Benetton 22

John O’Shea reports from Musgrave Park

MUNSTER WERE ultimately comprehensive victors at home to Benetton in this United Rugby Championship contest on Friday night.

In what was the first Munster senior game at Musgrave Park since before the pandemic in February 2020, a decent crowd saw the hosts secure a thoroughly deserved win.

After Benetton missed an early penalty that came back off the post, following a spell of Munster pressure, Ben Healy slotted over a penalty for the home side for the opening points of the contest in the seventh minute.

In the 18th minute, Munster raced in for the first try of the contest. Following what was a cleverly worked move and a lovely disguised pass off of the lineout, Matt Gallagher charged through the visiting defence to run over.

Rhyno Smith slotted over for the Italian side with 24 minutes on the clock. But Munster responded with their second try of the evening.

After a well-executed home attack involving John Hodnett and Simon Zebo, Craig Casey was duly on hand to apply the finishing touches, with the conversion kicked over subsequently from a fine Ben Healy kick.

Benetton were in for a try of their own just on the stroke of the half-time whistle. From a clever kick over the top by Ratuva Tavuyara, on hand was Rhyno Smith to finish in the corner, with the same man successfully kicking for the conversion moments later.

It was Munster that led at the break after what was a lively and competitive opening half. But that late score suggested Benetton had something to salvage perhaps.

However, Healy scored with another penalty kick for Munster in the early stages of the second half which split the posts.

Simon Zebo got in on the scoring act in the 45th minute, when he finished out wide in the corner after Gavin Coombes made the big carry to start the phase off

Benetton ran over for another try in the 55th minute, when Giacomo Da Re crossed over to reduce the gap, with the try awarded following a TMO review.

Munster responded in kind when Healy scored another penalty in the 59th minute.

The home side scored another try with 65 minutes played, when Gavin Coombes showcased his strength to barge over to secure the bonus points.

Munster were not intent on finishing just there and they charged over for a fifth try thanks to Jack O’Sullivan as the game headed into the final 10 minutes.

Damian de Allende then showed neat footwork to add to the Munster try tally late on.



Matt Gallagher (x1)

Craig Casey (x1 )

Simon Zebo (x1)

Gavin Coombes (x1)

Jack O’Sullivan(x1).

Damian de Allende (x1)


Ben Healy ( x 6)


Ben Healy ( x 3)


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Rhyno Smith (x1)

Giacomo Da Re (x1)

Callum Braley (x 1)


Rhyno Smith (x1)

Andries Coetzee (x1)


Rhyno Smith (x1)

MUNSTER: Matt Gallagher; Shane Daly, Damian de Allende, Rory Scannell(Chris Farrell, 63) , Simon Zebo(Jake Flannery, 68); Ben Healy, Craig Casey(Neil Cronin, 68); Josh Wycherley (Jeremy Loughman, 54) Diarmuid Barron( Scott Buckley, 71), Stephen Archer(Keynan Knox, 54) ; Gavin Coombes , Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), John Hodnett(Jack O’Sullivan, 60) , Alex Kendellen(Jason Jenkins, 63)

BENETTON: Andries Coetzee; Ratuva Tavuyara , Joaquin Riera, Tommaso Menoncello , Rhyno Smith; Tomas Albornoz(Giacomo Da Re, 21), Dewaldt Duvenage ( C ) (Callum Braley, 56) ; Ivan Nemer, Tomas Baravalle(Hame Faiva, 47) , Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro(Simone Ferrari, 60) , Irné Herbst (Niccolò Cannone, 49) , Carl Wegner, Sebastian Negri (Matteo Meggiato, 73), Manuel Zuliani, Toa Halafihi.

Referee: Craig Evans (WRU)

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