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Munster made to work hard for bonus-point win over the Kings

Johann van Graan’s men secured a good win in Port Elizabeth this afternoon.

Arno Botha scored the bonus point-clinching score.
Arno Botha scored the bonus point-clinching score.
Image: Richard Huggard/INPHO

Southern Kings 20

Munster 31

MUNSTER MADE IT two wins from two at the start of the Guinness Pro14 season as they maintained their unbeaten record against the Southern Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Johann van Graan’s side opened the floodgates late in the second half to earn a second bonus-point win in as many weeks, however, they will feel that they left quite a lot of points on the park as their handling let them down throughout the match.

Munster needed just nine minutes to get on the board in South Africa as JJ Hanrahan slotted over an early penalty, before the southern province squandered two try-scoring opportunities in the opening quarter.

Firstly, the final pass to fullback Mike Haley drifted forward and two minutes later, Arno Botha knocked the ball on in the process of going over for a try.

The Kings struck back in the 14th minute when Demetri Catrakilis made no mistake from the tee to level the scores. 

Haley did eventually get his try, when he cantered in on the left in the 20th minute, and Hanrahan had no issues in adding the extra two. A second three-pointer by the Munster out-half kept the Kings at bay.

shane-daly Shane Daly was named man of the match. Source: Richard Huggard/INPHO

But the home side came flying out of the blocks after the restart as fullback Masixole Banda broke to offload to Jacques du Toit, who in his turn sent scrum-half Stefan Ungerer over for the score. Catrakilis slotted the extra as the Kings seized the lead at 13-10.

Their joy was short-lived, however, as Alby Mathewson, managed to regain the lead for Munster with a try, while Hanrahan added the extras. 

There was more frustration for van Graan’s side soon after though as they butchered another scoring opportunity in the 55th minute after Haley broke the line to send Darren Sweetnam away, but the winger dropped the ball a couple of metres from the whitewash.

The visitors eventually got their reward as Fineen Wycherley crashed over for a TMO-awarded try in the 68th minute and Botha added the bonus-point score to seal victory for Munster, before the Kings scored a consolation try through Elrigh Louw.

Kings scorers:

Tries: Stefan Ungerer, Elrigh Louw.
Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis [2 from 2].
Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis [2 from 2].

Munster scorers:

Tries: Mike Haley, Alby Mathewson, Fineen Wycherley, Arno Botha.
Conversions: JJ Hanrahan [4 from 4].
Penalties: JJ Hanrahan [1 from 1].

SOUTHERN KINGS: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Andell Loubser, 13 Tertius Kruger, 12 JT Jackson, 11 Courtney Winnaar, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Lusanda Badiyana (captain), 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Jerry Sexton, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Alandré van Rooyen, 1 Juan Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Bobby de Wee, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Josh Allderman, 22 Sibusiso Sithole, 23 Josiah Twum-Boafo.

MUNSTER: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Dan Goggin, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Shane Daly, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Tommy O’ Donnell (captain), 6 Jack O’ Donoghue, 5 Fineen Wycherley, 4 Darren O’ Shea, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Kevin O’ Byrne, 1 Liam O’Connor.

Replacements: 16 Diarmuid Barron, 17 James Cronin, 18 Jeremy Loughman, 19 Jed Holloway, 20 Billy Holland, 21 Neil Cronin, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Chris Cloete.

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Morgan Piek

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