Munster nab 14th win from 16 Pro14 ties ahead of final showdown with Leinster

Johann van Graan’s side picked up a 14-point victory against Benetton at home this evening.

Keynan Knox reaches over for Munster's second try.
Keynan Knox reaches over for Munster's second try.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Munster 31

Bennetton Rugby 17

PROMISING LOCK FORWARD  Thomas Ahern led from the front as Munster made it 14 wins from 16 in the Pro14 ahead of next week’s final showdown with Leinster.

And the Waterford native, who was 21 last month, seized the moment with a man of the match display along 20-year old debutant Cian Hurley in the second row at Thomond Park.

Munster, having made 13 changes, struggled initially before they got on top but with four players going on to score their first tries for the side, they secured the bonus point win in an entertaining game where the top class refereeing of Scotland’s Hollie Davidson on her debut contributed a lot.

Benetton, who have nine players starting against Scotland tomorrow, hit the front after 23 minutes with a quality score from scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage.

But Munster centre Alex McHenry crossed just before the break to lead 10-7 at the interval after being put through by Rory Scannell.

Munster, having lost scrum-half Paddy Patterson to injury on his first start on loan from Leinster, extended their lead seven minutes after the restart when prop Kenyan Knox used all his power to drive over for his first try after a penalty to the corner.

Matt Gallagher came on for his first action since suffering a shoulder injury in November to replace Jake Flannery who had a solid first start at full-back.

Replacement prop Roman Salanoa, aided by a good latch from his captain Jack O’Donoghue, drove over shortly after coming on and they secured the bonus point when Healy, looking very sharp when he replaced the impressive Hanrahan, combined with Liam Coombes to score a try he converted superbly from the left wing.


Tries: A McHenry, K Knox, R Salanoa, B Healy

Cons: JJ Hanrahan (3/3), B Healy (1/1)

Pen: Hanrahan (1/1)


Tries: D Duvenage, C Els, G Pettinelli

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Con: T Allan (1/3)

Munster: Jake Flannery (Matt Gallagher ‘50); Andrew Conway, Alex McHenry, Rory Scannell, Liam Coombes; JJ Hanrahan (B Healy ‘59), Paddy Patterson (Nick McCarthy ‘38); Liam O’Connor (Jeremy Loughman ‘57), Diarmuid Barron (Rhys Marshall ‘57), Kenyan Knox (Roman Salanoa ‘57); Cian Hurley, Thomas Ahern; Jack O’Donoghue (Tommy O’Donnell ‘68), Chris Cloete (Jack Daly ‘65), Jack O’Sullivan.

Benetton Rugby: J Hayward; I Ratuva Tavuyara (L Sarto ’55), J Riera, L Morisi (T Benvenuti ’58), A Esposito; T Allan, D Duvenage (L Petrozzi ’58); N Quaglio (T Gallo ’41), T Baravalle (C Els ’50), F Alongi (T Pasquali ’50); I Herbst (N Piantella ’58), E Snyman; A Sgarbi M Zuliani (M Barbini ’71), G Pettinelli.

Ref: H Davidson (Scotland).

Murray Kinsella, Bernard Jackman and Gavan Casey preview Ireland’s game against England and try to figure out where this team is going under Andy Farrell, if anywhere:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

About the author:

John Fallon  / Reports from Thomond Park

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