Wednesday 13 December 2017

Last-gasp try snatches victory for Reds

Munster 16 Scarlets 10

Ivan Dineen is tackled by Ken Owens and Rob Evans
Ivan Dineen is tackled by Ken Owens and Rob Evans

Declan Rooney

Ronan O'Mahony scored a try deep into stoppage-time to clinch victory for Munster at Musgrave Park.

With Scarlets down to 13 men, Munster laid siege on the Welsh try line and after a great break from Barry O'Mahony was held short, JJ Hanrahan picked out the winger and he touched down in the corner for the win.

With Mike Sherry set to miss the rest of the season and Damien Varley crying off with illness, Duncan Casey was handed his first Munster start at hooker.

The Scarlets went in front when Aled Thomas landed a penalty from near half-way, before Hanrahan shook off an earlier miss and slotted a trickier kick from the right.

On the half-hour mark, Thomas missed a kick from the right that would have given his side the lead.

The Munster management would have been very concerned to see tight-head prop BJ Botha limp off in the 34th minute with a knee injury -- he previously suffered ligament damage in pre-season -- but the home side closed out the half without further incident with the sides level 3-3 at the break.

There was very little intensity to Munster's play after the restart and it came as little surprise when Scarlets ran in the game's opening try from deep inside their own territory in the 43rd minute.

It was a splendid line-break by Kristian Phillips that caught Munster out, but when Thomas got his hands on the ball in behind the Munster cover, he drew the last defender and send Scottish international John Barclay cantering in for his second try against Irish provinces this season.

Thomas was left with a simple conversion under the posts to give Scarlets a 10-3 lead, but when Ken Owens was caught entering the side of a ruck, Hanrahan landed his second penalty to put just four points between the teams.

Munster continued to chip away at the lead and after a great carry from Dave Kilcoyne forced Josh Turnbull into the concession of another penalty, Hanrahan converted to make it 10-9.

Hanrahan could have won it for Munster 11 minutes from time, but his long-range kick slid agonisingly wide. But after late yellow cards for Rob Evans and Mike Poole, the visitors' defence collapsed as O'Mahony touched down for the win.

Scorers -- Munster: R O'Mahony try, JJ Hanrahan con, 3 pens. Scarlets: J Barclay try, A Thomas con, pen.

Munster: D Hurley; G van den Heever (R O'Mahony 57), C Laulala, I Dineen, A Conway; JJ Hanrahan, C Sheridan (D Williams 59); D Kilcoyne, D Casey (N Scannell 31 blood), BJ Botha (J Ryan 34); I Nagle, B Holland (capt); Dave O'Callaghan (Donncha O'Callaghan 48), T O'Donnell (B O'Mahony 70), CJ Stander.

Scarlets: G Owen (M Poole 73); L Williams, G Maule, A Warren (R Priestland 62), K Phillips; A Thomas, R Williams (G Davies 70); R Evans, K Owens (E Phillips 53), J Adriaanse (R Jones 53); J Ball (J Snyman 55), R Kelly; J Turnbull, J Barclay (S Hopkins 75), R McCusker (capt).

Referee: N Owens (WRU).

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport