Clinical Munster edge Cheetahs in Bloem
Munster travelled to the Free State for the first time and managed to produced twelve unanswered points in the second-half, including a monstrous Conor Murray penalty, for the win.
Cheetahs scored two tries courtesy of fullback Clayton Blommetjies and scrumhalf Tian Meyer. Johan Goosen added two conversions and a penalty to the hosts' tally.
Ireland scrumhalf Conor Murray scored Munster's only try of the match. Flyhalf JJ Hanrahan added the conversion and three penalties.
While Murray's long-range penalty kick proved to be the deciding faction for the win.
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Third-placed Cheetahs had a fine start when Blommetjies, who will join Scarlets at the end of the season, went over in the right corner.
Teboho Mohoje had claimed the initial line-out with the hosts moving the ball wide with Francois Venter’s hands giving the Cheetahs fullback time and space to go over.
And with Simon Zebo in the sin bin for a professional foul on Uzair Cassiem, the South African side had their second with the fullback Blommetjies involved again with a break from the back of a ruck.
Munster had disrupted the Cheetahs ball only for Blommetjies to seize the loose ball and timing his pass to Meyer who had a free run to the line.
The Munster forwards brought the Irish province back into the match with a powerful drive only for Robin Copeland’s knock on to deny the visitors first try.
Munster pulled a try back just seconds after Conor Murray replaced the injured James Hart as the scrumhalf sniped from the back of a five-metre scrum to trail 7-14.
Johan Goosen extended the lead to ten points with a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
As the teams returned for the second stanza, Munster clawed their way back in the match thanks to flyhalf Hanrahan, who narrowed the deficit to just one point with three successful penalty kicks.
Munster finally took the lead for the first time in the match when Murray nailed a 56-metre penalty kick for the win.
Tries: Blommetjies, Meyer
Cons: Goosen 2
Pens: Hanrahan 3, Murray
Yellow Card: Simon Zebo (Munster, 17 – Professional foul)
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Niel Marais, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Rynier Bernardo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Adriaan Coertzen.
Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Sammy Arnold, 12 Dan Goggin, 11 Darren Sweetnam, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 James Hart, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Jack O'Donoghue, 6 Peter O'Mahony (captain), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Brian Scott.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Dave O'Callaghan, 20 Conor Oliver, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Rory Scannell.
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Lloyd Linton (Scotland), Ben Crouse (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
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