‘It could have gotten away from us’ - Rowntree praises Munster’s resolve after Benetton win

Munster fall behind inside the first quarter but do enough to pull away from hosts in 70-point thriller

Munster head coach Graham Rowntree praised his side for the way they recovered from a poor start to fashion an invaluable win that sees them climb above Benetton in the URC table.

Both sides were missing their Six Nations players but Munster made their job considerably more difficult when they fell 12-0 behind inside 13 minutes at Stadio Monigo before rallying to take control.

“I am relieved. We dug in there. It could have gotten away from us,” said Rowntree after they claimed their seventh win in 13 league games to move to sixth in the table.

“The played fantastically well, Treviso, but we have got to look at our discipline going forward.


“They got a try bonus at the end there, but it was always going to be an important game for us,” he added.

Early tries from centre Marco Zanon and winger Ignacio Mendy pushed the Italians into a commanding lead but Munster, with John Hodnett leading the way, came storming back.

Calvin Nash chipped and chased to send scrumhalf Paddy Patterson over. Joey Carbery went to full-back when Ben Healy came on for the injured Nash but while Hodnett put Jack O’Sullivan through for a try, they trailed 15-14 at the break.

Munster dominated the second-half despite playing half of it with 14 men.

Hodnett scored after going wide on the left before Jean Kleyn pushed through number eight Henry Stowers to secure the bonus point. Carbery’s fourth conversion made it 28-18 after 50 minutes.

Healy, having also been binned the previous week in Toulouse, returned from a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on but Munster remained down to 14 men when replacement hooker Barron picked up a yellow card for a ruck offence. This time Benetton punished them with Mendy getting his second try in the right corner after they went wide.

Carbery missed his first kick of the day with a 65th minute penalty before a superb cross-kick from Healy set up Antoine Frisch for their fifth try. Healy was also the creator to send Carbery over four minutes from time and seal a fine win.

Benetton though pulled back a try bonus point in the final play which could yet prove crucial in the battle for knockout places, Mendy completing his hat-trick in the corner at the end of a very entertaining game played in front of a crowd of 4,082.