Belfast Telegraph

Mighty Munster go marching on at top

Munster 45 NG Dragons 17

You'd have been forgiven in Cork last night for thinking that this was the only game of importance this weekend as a capacity crowd at Irish Independent Park roared on a rampant Munster side to another bonus point win.

Munster definitely have their mojo back and a crowd of 8,008 responded to them like the nights of old, urging them to pull further ahead even when the win and the bonus point were in the bag.

The absence of nine men to Irish duty in Rome, coupled with a few injuries, did little to disrupt Munster's flow as they maintained their lead at the top of the table.

They were outstanding from the start, just as accomplished in the tight as when they went wide and they had the bonus point wrapped up by the interval when they turned around leading by 31-10.

Jaco Taute crossed twice and in between Andrew Conway finished a move started by a Tyler Bleyendaal break, before the bonus point was sealed with a penalty try before the break.

Replacement hooker Elliott Dee pulled back a try for the Welsh just before the hour when replacement Munster lock Darren O'Shea was in the bin for a shoulder charge.

However, Munster responded and a break by Rory Scannell set in train a sustained bout of pressure which was finished from close range by loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne, with Bleyendaal's sixth kick of the night making it 38-17.

Munster finished the game in style when Ronan O'Mahony had sufficient gas to burst through from deep and score beside the posts, leaving Bleyendaal with an easy task to make it seven from seven kicks.

Elsewhere, Ospreys full-back Dan Evans scored a hat-trick of tries as they secured a 40-10 bonus point win at Zebre.

The win keeps Ospreys in second but it was Zebre who made the brighter start, building a 10-point lead in the opening 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, Scarlets moved clear in the play-off race with a big 26-14 win over fellow play-off chasers Glasgow Warriors at a chilly Scotstoun Stadium last night.

Belfast Telegraph

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