Munster show their mettle to see off spirited Aberavon
British & Irish Cup Aberavon 14 Munster A 18:Reigning champions Munster look well set for the knockout stages after defeating a spirited Aberavon side.
Munster dominated large portions of the match but could not make their superior class tell on the scoreboard.
Captain Sean Dougall was content to have negotiated a potential minefield and preserve their four-point lead at the top. He said : “It was a dogfight but we dug in and took our chances when it mattered. We had trained well all week but we were not ruthless enough today.”
Dougall was part of a superb Munster backrow which consistently thwarted the Welshmen.
Dougall added: “Playing in Wales is never easy. We expected a tough crowd and got one. Some of the referee’s decision-making was frustrating but being a referee is a hard job!”
Munster scored a try in each half. At times, they threatened to run riot but a missed pass or a penalty disrupted their rhythm. A slick backline move cut open the home-side to allow Ronan O’Mahony to canter over. JJ Hanrahan added the conversion and a penalty to send Munster into the break 10-3 up.
Munster started the second-half at a frenetic pace and Danny Barnes raced over for a try and Hanrahan added another penalty. Several off-the-ball scuffles and a dubious CJ Stander yellow card, galvanised the home team. Aberavon used their powerful pack to exert pressure. Munster’s defence was ferocious but a try and two penalties were conceded when down to 14 men. Munster weathered a late storm but deserved the victory.
ABERAVON RFC:P Bamsey, R Carter, R Thomas, W Price, R Thomas, C Evans, J Heatley, N White (J Tomlin-Reeves, 69), G Harvey (E Yardley,61), A Clatworthy, G Ronan (R Morris,59), S Williams (capt), B Thomas (Lee Purnell, 40), N Strong (Rowan Jenkins, 65), C Davies.
MUNSTER A:D Hurley, D Barnes, S Deasy, I Dineen, R O’Mahony, JJ Hanrahan (J Holland 78), C Sheridan, J Cronin, D Casey (N Scannel, 64), A Cotter (C Condon, 56), D Foley (B Hayes, 56), I Nagle, Dave O’Callaghan (R Murphy, 70), S Dougall, CJ Stander
Referee:Ross Campbell (England)