Munster crushed by weakened Treviso
Treviso 34 Munster 10:A miserable day for Irish rugby was compounded in Italy yesterday where Munster were beaten out the gate by a vastly understrength Treviso.
Rob Penney’s side were outscored five tries to one by a Benetton side missing 18 players due to international call-ups and injury alike. Treviso, in fact, were even forced to deploy winger-come-centre Christian Loamanu at number eight such was their lack of man-power.
In essence, Munster were outfought and out-thought at every juncture, and with the notable exception of Stephen Archer in the scrum, seemed to have little appetite for the challenge.
The result leaves Munster’s RaboDirect ambitions hanging by a thread. Asked whether he needs to examine the way in which Munster are attempting to play the game after such a washout, Penney said: “We evaluate . . . It’s a long process, and we’re not set in stone in the way we go about things. There is no doubt that today, however, was an ass-whooping, to use a colloquial term.”
And it was just that. Benetton took control just three minutes in, Ludovico Nitoglia touching down beneath the posts.
They added a second try midway through the half when Fillipo Giusti stormed home off the back of a five-metre rolling maul. Treviso added a third before half-time when Denis Hurley failed to deal with Alberto Di Bernardo’s crossfield kick, allowing Gideon le Grange to cross the whitewash.
Munster enjoyed a renaissance of sorts immediately after the break and forced a penalty try after a series of collapsed scrums. But their reprieve was short-lived. Treviso secured the bonus point thanks to a Fabio Semenzato try, before Giulio Toniolatti added the frosting with a fifth try close to the death.
“I expected our boys to show more courage and fortitude,” said Penney. “Some players need to take a long hard look at themselves after that. “We were soft, we lacked courage, Benetton ripped into us and got the deserved outcome. Without taking away from them, that was definitely our most disappointing performance of the season.”
BENETTON TREVISO: Williams; Nitoglia, Pratichetti, La Grange, Toniolatti; Di Bernardo, Semenzato; Rizzo, Maistri, B Roux; Bernabo, C van Zyl; Budd, Giusti, Loamanu. Replacements: Ambrosini for Pratichetti (74 mins), Iannone for La Grange (56 mins), Muccignat for Rizzo (67 mins), Di Santo for B Roux (67 mins), Fuser for Bernabo (70 mins), Filippucci for Loamanu (58 mins). Sin-binned: Maistri (47 mins).
MUNSTER: Jones; Hurley, Laulala, Downey, J Murphy; Keatley, Williams; du Preez, Sherry, Archer; Nagle, B Holland; Butler, O’Donnell, Coughlan. Replacements: Hanrahan for Downey (53 mins), Botha for Archer, D Foley for Nagle (both 55 mins), Stander for Coughlan (62 mins), Dineen for Laulala, Sheridan for Williams (both 63 mins), J Ryan for du Preez, Varley for Sherry (both 72 mins) . Sin binned: Coughlan (59 mins). Referee: Stefano Traversi (Italy).