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Munster too good for woeful Bulls

URC REPORT: The Bulls suffered their second straight defeat on their United Rugby Championship tour.

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The Pretoria side went down 17-31 to Munster in Limerick on Saturday, which comes a week after their 21-35 defeat to the Glasgow Warriors.

The Bulls were woeful for most of the match in Ireland and Munster outscored them by four tries to two.

The result means the Bulls have failed to get any log points from their two matches on their tour so far.

They will face Benetton in Treviso next weekend.

No.8 Gavin Coombes notched tries after 28 and 35 minutes as Munster broke into a 17-3 half-time lead, in response to a Johan Goosen penalty.

Jeremy Loughman scored before WJ Steenkamp and David Kriel touched down for the Bulls either side of Tadhg Beirne’s 61st-minute bonus-point score. Joey Carbery converted all four Munster tries.

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Teenage lock Edwin Edogbo was lively on his first Munster start, and a double movement prevented Craig Casey from scoring early on from a quickly-taken penalty.

Kurt-Lee Arendse’s jinking run drew a high tackle from Coombes, allowing Goosen to kick the Bulls ahead in the 10th minute.

However, Munster’s territorial control of the game increased as the second quarter wore on. Calvin Nash regularly made ground and flyhalf Carbery landed a straightforward penalty.

Peter O’Mahony pressurised the Bulls line-out and a Nash kick-chase set up a five-metre scrum. Munster’s maul was stopped short but Coombes burrowed over a few phases later.

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Carbery converted and then threaded a terrific kick into the 22 where, supported by O’Mahony, Coombes was unstoppable again from close range. Carbery’s conversion made it 17 points without reply.

Munster swallowed up a late Bulls maul and added an opportunist third try early in the second half. Chris Smith failed to gather a chip kick from Carbery, allowing Loughman to dribble through and dive on the ball.

Despite Mornay Smith’s sin-binning for a no-arms tackle on Jack Crowley, openside Steenkamp crossed in the right corner from replacement Kriel’s assist.

Chris Smith’s superb conversion made it 24-10 and Jean Kleyn almost fired back with a try soon after as replacement Crowley’s dancing feet exposed defensive gaps.

A clever Crowley kick saw the South Africans concede a five-metre scrum, the pressure telling when Beirne plunged over from Conor Murray’s flicked pass.

Kriel’s 60-metre run-in, after a ruck ball had squirted loose, pulled back seven points but Munster’s resolute defence prevented the Bulls forwards from picking up a late losing bonus point.

Player of the Match

Carbery had a confidence-boosting performance, securing the URC player-of-the-match medal with 11 points from the tee and some smart involvements in open play.

The two-try Coombes was very effective as a carrier, while Mo.8 Elrigh Louw and Kriel, who provided impact off the bench, impressed for the Bulls.

Play of the Match

The wet conditions made free-flowing rugby difficult, though the Bulls looked dangerous on the counter at times.

The best of Munster’s tries showed their close-in control, worming their way through off scrum ball before replacement Murray’s inviting pass behind his back saw Beirne chalk up the bonus point.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: G Coombes 2, Loughman, Beirne
Cons: Carbery 4
Pen: Carbery

For Bulls:
Tries: WJ Steenkamp, Kriel
Cons: Smith 2
Pen: Goosen

Yellow card: Mornay Smith (Bulls, 46′ – foul play, tackle off the ball with no arms)

Teams:

Munster: 15 Shane Daly, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Dan Goggin, 11 Liam Coombes, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 Edwin Edogbo, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Jeremy Loughman.
Replacements: 16 Diarmuid Barron, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Roman Salanoa, 19 Tom Ahern, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jack Crowley, 23 John Hodnett.

Bulls: 15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Wandisile Simelane, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 WJ Steenkamp, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck Du Plessis, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Ruan Vermaak, 20 Marco Van Staden, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 David Kriel.

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Andrew Cole (Ireland), Dermot Blake (Ireland)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)

Additional source: @URCOfficial

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