Wednesday 25 April 2018

Record-breaking Zebo lifts Munster to fourth as Ulster falter

Munster's Simon Zebo has become the side's all-time top try-scorer. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Munster's Simon Zebo has become the side's all-time top try-scorer. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Shane Scanlon

On the back of his impressive finish to Ireland's Six Nations campaign, Simon Zebo continued his recent purple patch by becoming Munster's all-time top try-scorer in Thomond Park last night.

The Cork native showed all his customary flair and searing pace against Zebre to bag himself a second-half brace which took him to 43 tries in 97 provincial appearances, thus overtaking Anthony Horgan's 41-try record which stood for seven years. The Zebo landmark came as Anthony Foley's troops collected a much-needed, bonus-point win as they inflicted a 47-0 drubbing on the Italians.

Munster took a 14-0 lead into half-time having played into a very strong wind, with Ronan O'Mahony's 26th-minute try adding to an early penalty try. The home side failed to fully punish Zebre for successive yellow cards, but they finally went through the gears thanks to a run of touchdowns from Zebo (2), CJ Stander and Conor Murray. Out-half Holland's ever-accurate left boot supplied the extras, putting 40 points between the sides, and the beleaguered visitors suffered their third yellow card when Bruno Postiglioni walked for repeated scrum infringements.

With the Italians' set-piece giving way again, the Reds gained a second penalty try in the 73rd minute to top off an important result following a poor outing in Cardiff last week.

There was further good news for Munster in the race for places in next season's European Champions Cup places as Ulster suffered a setback with defeat to Glasgow Warriors in Scotstoun.

All looked to be going to plan for Ulster midway through the second half as they led 17-9, but rapid-fire scores from man of the moment Stuart Hogg and then Tommy Seymour broke Ulster hearts and dealt a cruel blow to their play-off hopes.

The visitors were even denied the consolation of a losing bonus point when Hogg boomed over a penalty from 53 metres with the last kick.

It means Munster leapfrog over Les Kiss' men into fourth position in the Pro12 table.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport