Business as usual as Munster blow away Treviso
Munster 34 Treviso 3
Last season’s beaten finalists Munster began the revamped Guinness PRO14 in confident fashion with a 34-3 bonus-point victory over Benetton Treviso at Irish Independent Park.
With Kiwi duo Marty Banks and Whetu Douglas on board, the Italians were quietly confident of troubling their hosts in Cork, but Munster blew them away in the first half thanks to tries from Jean Kleyn, captain Tyler Bleyendaal and the fleet-footed back-three of Darren Sweetnam, Alex Wootton and Andrew Conway.
Five tries in five visits to the 22 opened up a 27-3 half-time lead, and while the scoring chances dried up for man-of-the-match Conway and company, Kleyn managed to complete his brace in the 48th minute following Francesco Minto’s sin-binning.
The impending departures of Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber back to South Africa — Erasmus is taking up the director of rugby role with SA Rugby — will undoubtedly overshadow the early part of Munster’s season, but the players are not letting it distract them on the pitch.
The only sour note for Munster was a serious looking knee injury sustained by replacement centre Dan Goggin.
Meanwhile, Richard Cockerill made a winning start as Edinburgh head coach in the Guinness PRO14 as his side pulled off an excellent 20-10 victory at Cardiff.
It was the Scots’ first win in the Welsh capital for five seasons and the former Leicester and Toulon boss can take a huge amount from a committed and spirited display.
The impressive Blair Kinghorn and Chris Dean scored Edinburgh’s tries, with Duncan Weir converting both and adding two penalties.
Josh Navidi was Cardiff’s try-scorer, with Jarrod Evans converting before kicking a penalty, but it wasn’t enough for Blues, who lacked the penetration to trouble a stubborn Scottish defence.
Last night: Ulster 42 Cheetahs 19, Cardiff 10 Edinburgh 20, Munster 34Treviso 3.
Today: Ospreys v Zebre (2.35pm), Dragons v Leinster (3.15pm), Scarlets v Kings (5.30pm), Connacht v Glasgow (7.35pm).