Wednesday 21 March 2018

O'Donnell seals bonus as Munster go top

Munster 35 Scarlets 12

Munster have always gone about their business without too much fuss and while most of the attention is on the World Cup, Tony McGahan's men have moved top of the PRO12.

Early wins over Dragons and Glasgow were improved on in the rain at Musgrave Park on Saturday night as they picked up their first bonus point of the season.

They have still not conceded a try in the defence of their title this season and a powerful display by their pack provided the platform for Saturday's success.

The superiority up front paved the way for Ian Keatley to produce another excellent display at out-half. Munster were on top from the outset and were well worth their 20-9 interval lead. Doug Howlett got the opening try after being sent away down the right by Peter Stringer and Peter O'Mahony.

The Munster pack were awarded a penalty try nine minutes from the break after hammering Scarlets in five five-metre scrums.

Scarlets kept in touch with penalties from Dan Newton either side of half-time, but Munster's dominance continued.

Replacement scrum-half Duncan Williams scored his first ever try for Munster after being put through by hooker Mike Sherry after 65 minutes. Tommy O'Donnell burst through down the right to score six minutes from time and secure the bonus point.

Munster -- J Murphy; D Howlett (S Zebo 72), T Gleeson, L Mafi (S Deasy 66), D Hurley; I Keatley, P Stringer (D Williams 56); M Horan (W du Preez 51), M Sherry (D Fogarty 66), J Hayes (BJ Botha 55); D Foley (B Holland 45), M O'Driscoll; P O'Mahony, N Ronan (T O'Donnell 65) , J Coughlan.

Scarlets -- D Ford; L Williams, R Gomer Davies, G Maule, A Fenby (L Rees 71); D Newton, R Tipuna (G Davies 62); I Thomas (P John 65), K Myhill (E Phillips 45), R Thomas (R Jones 65); L Reed, D Day (A Shingler 57); R McCusker, J Turnbull (J Edwards 62), B Morgan.

Ref -- A Macpherson (SRU).

Irish Independent

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