Hanrahan leads Munster to comfortable win

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 22:48
Large jj hanraham munster 800

PRO14 MATCH REPORT: JJ Hanrahan put in a masterful performance to guide Munster to a 49-6 bonus point victory over the Dragons at Irish Independent Park.

Rory Scannell and Simon Zebo both touched down in the first half with Jack O'Donoghue and Darren Sweetnam securing the bonus point in the second period.

Replacements Sam Arnold, two, and Kevin O'Byrne added the further tries as Munster kept the pressure on Glasgow Warriors at the top of the Conference A.

Angus O'Brien kicked the Dragons' only points at Irish Independent Park who haven't won at Munster since their first trip to the Irish province back in 2004.

Hanrahan's brilliant break was vital to Munster's first try with the flyhalf finding Rory Scannell to dive over in the corner with 20 minutes played.

After creating the score, the Munster number ten added the extras from the touchline to extend the home side's advantage.

The hosts were pegged back soon after though as South African flank Chris Cloete, on his debut, was adjudged to have not released in the tackle and O'Brien kicked the Dragons' first penalty.

Wing Zebo then took his Munster try tally to 57 as he found space to dot down in the corner with Hanrahan's reliable boot making it 14-3 to the home side.

The Dragons had the ideal start to the second 40 when O'Brien again slotted a penalty but again the visitors' resistance proved to be short lived.

With turnover ball, Robin Copeland was able to break upfield and offload to Sweetnam who found flank O'Donoghue who stormed over for Munster's third try of the evening.

Hanrahan was once again able to add the extras as Munster led 21-6 with 49 minutes played at Irish Independent Park.

And Sweetnam was on the end of a long and lofted Hanrahan pass to secure Munster's try bonus point inside an hour mark. The flyhalf converted once again.

Munster weren't stopping there either as Hanrahan earned his third assist by feeding replacement centre Arnold who ran through unchallenged to make it 35-6.

The hosts thought they were over again with 66 minutes with a driving maul but the TMO decided the ball had been held up.

Munster's dominance at the line-out continued though and replacement hooker O'Byrne was over the whitewash three minutes later to make it 42-6.

Arnold crossed for his second of the night late on with Hanrahan's successful touchline conversion keeping up his perfect night with the boot.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Scannell, Zebo, O'Donoghue, Sweetnam, Arnold 2, O'Byrne
Cons: Hanrahan 7

For Dragons:
O'Brien 2


Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Alex Wootton, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Jack O'Donoghue, 5 Billy Holland (captain), 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Liam O'Connor.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O'Byrne, 17 James Cronin, 18 Brian Scott, 19 Darren O'Shea, 20 Mark Flanagan, 21 James Hart, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Sam Arnold.

Dragons: 15 Will Talbot-Davies, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Angus O'Brien, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 James Sheekey, 7 James Benjamin, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 2 Gerard Ellis, 1 Thomas Davies.
Replacements: 16 Liam Belcher, 17 Luke Garrett, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Scott Andrews, 20 Ben Roach, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Arwel Robson, 23 Pat Howard.

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Keith Allen (Scotland), John Carvill (Ireland)

Source: @PRO14Official

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Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Castres 13h00 Thomond Park
La Rochelle v Harlequins 15h15 Stade Marcel-Deflandre
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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 13 12 0 1 58
Munster 13 8 0 5 42
Cheetahs 11 6 0 5 30
Cardiff Blues 13 5 0 8 25
Connacht 13 4 0 9 24
Ospreys 13 4 0 9 21
Zebre 13 3 0 10 17
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 13 11 0 2 53
Leinster 13 11 0 2 51
Ulster 13 8 1 4 40
Edinburgh 13 8 0 5 37
Treviso 13 6 0 7 29
Dragons 13 2 1 10 14
Kings 11 0 0 10 4