CJ Stander enjoys a dream return to his hometown as Munster record a big win in South Africa
Southern Kings 22 Munster 39
CJ Stander’s dream return to his hometown of George finished in a bonus point victory for Munster as they defeated Southern Kings in the PRO14 at Outeniqua Stadium.
The Ireland Grand Slam winner scored one of six tries after Munster recovered from a 15-13 half-time deficit. Niall Scannell and Calvin Nash but they trailed due to a yellow card for Gerbrandt Grobler.
But Stander, Dan Goggin, Rhys Marshall and Dave Kilcoyne added further tries in the second-half.
Southern Kings had the better start and Munster suffered an injury blow in the tenth minute when James Cronin left the field with what looked like a bad arm injury.
But they re-grouped and Ian Keatley’s first success off the kicking tee came in the 17th minute. Munster could have extended their lead ten minutes later but a penalty was reversed when Grobler dived in and collided with Ruan Lerm’s shoulder.
Southern Kings scored 15 points unanswered before his return. Andy Ntsila scored their first try in the 27th minute and four minutes later Stephen Greff crashed over.
Munster were reeling and Banda added a penalty before Grobler came back. But in the 38th minute Munster scored their first try and it came after some incessant pressure with Grobler prominent, Niall Scannell finished off.
Keatley missed the conversion but Nash showed his scintillating speed to score in the 44th minute of the first half.
Keatley missed again and it was 15-13 in favour of the hosts at half-time but Stander scored eight minutes after the resumption.
This time Keatley added the extras and Munster were 20-15 ahead before some exquisite handling from Rory Scannell set up Goggin’s bonus point try in the 52nd minute.
Michael Makase scored a wonder try for Southern Kings late on but Munster were already out of sight.
Scorers – Southern Kings: A Ntsila, S Greeff, M Makase tries; M Banda 2 cons, pen. Munster: N Scannell, C Nash, CJ Stander, D Goggin, R Marshall, D Kilcoyne tries; I Keatley 3 cons, pen.
Southern Kings: M Banda; M Makase, J Nel (N Dukisa 63), B Klaasen, Y Penxe; M du Toit (L Vulindlu 70), G Masimla (R van Rooyen 56); S Ferreira (J Forwood 36-40) (Forwood 70), S Coetzee, P Scholtz (L Pupuma 56); S Greeff (L Mtyanda 56), B De Wee; A Ntsila (L Badiyana 67), M Burger, R Lerm.
Munster: JJ Hanrahan (Fitzgerald 63); C Nash, D Goggin (S Fitzgerald 32-40), R Scannell, A Wootton; I Keatley, J Hart (J Stafford 65); J Cronin (D Kilcoyne 10), N Scannell (R Marshall 56), J Ryan (B Scott 67); J Kleyn (B Holland 56), G Grobler; D O’Callaghan, C Oliver (J O’Donoghue 56), CJ Stander (R Copeland 73).
Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland).