Thursday 18 January 2018

Second half resurgence from Munster deny Zebre win

Zebre 21 Munster 43

Munster’s JJ Hanrahan
Munster’s JJ Hanrahan
Munster's JJ Hanrahan makes his way out for squad training. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

A second-half resurgence from Munster denied Zebre their first ever win in the RaboDirect Pro12.

Zebre went in at half-time 18-9 ahead after tries from Luciano Orquera and Andrea Macini but CJ Stander's double helped the Irish province to a 43-21 success.

Two JJ Hanrahan penalties gave Munster an early lead but Orquera halved the deficit and then crossed for the opening try after catching Munster off guard with a quick tap penalty.

Hanrahan brought his side back within a point but hooker Macini surprisingly popped up on the end of a flowing move and outpaced Munster full-back Denis Hurley to score.

Half-time substitute James Downey quickly won a penalty from which Hanrahan cut the deficit and it sparked a dramatic second-half comeback.

Paddy Butler's try and Hanrahan's conversion put Munster 19-18 up, and two barnstorming runs through the defence from Stander proved decisive.

Filippo Ferrarini wasted a three-on-one chance to bring Zebre back into the game and replacement fly-half Ian Keatley converted his own try to round off Munster's win.

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