Munster impress in six-try win over limited Ulster

A red card for Will Addison removed any lingering doubt about the likely outcome

Munster’s Andrew Conway scores a try against Ulster in their Rainbow Cup clash. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Munster’s Andrew Conway scores a try against Ulster in their Rainbow Cup clash. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Munster 38 Ulster 10

Munster’s second victory in the Rainbow Cup came on foot of an impressive performance even allowing for the limitations of Ulster’s challenge. The home side played with a nice tempo, keeping the ball alive where possible and clever in orientation in their attacking patterns; the reward six tries.

A red card for Ulster centre Will Addison on 39-minutes removed any lingering doubt about the likely outcome even with Munster leading 19-3 at the time.

Dave Kilcoyne and Gavin Coombes regularly gave Munster positive gain-lines, the Munster backrow were combative, so too Tadhg Beirne while Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan ran the game beautifully; Rory Scannell crossed for a brace of tries while the back three added value when they did get possession, particularly fullback Mike Haley.

Alan O’Connor, Jordi Murphy and Marcus Rea showed character in adversity for the visitors while Rob Lyttle and Jacob Stockdale showed flashes of their attacking prowess.

Ulster made inroads territorially with a good first set in possession made inroads through some powerful carrying before Beirne was pinged for not rolling away in the tackle and Michael Lowry kicked the resultant penalty.

There followed some interprovincial spice, the initial seasoning applied when Addison gave Rory Scannell a dunt that was late; everyone piled in as the two centres took their dispute to the ground.

Iain Henderson was harshly penalised for a late tackle on Murray. It was a precursor to Munster’s first try, created by Gavin Coombes and finished smartly by Rory Scannell. Hanrahan kicked the conversion as the home side took a 7-3 lead on 12 minutes.

The home side mixed up the points of attack and their enterprise bore fruit on 26 minutes following another sweeping counter-attack. Murray finished from close range, his third try in the last two matches following a brace against Leinster.

Problems

There were a number of problems from the visitors’ perspective, losing the collisions, falling off tackles and failing to use the benefit of a strong wind to get some traction in the game through territory. Instead they meandered from side to side and when Lowry had a kick charged down, Stockdale rescued his team by winning the race to Hanrahan’s grubber kick. Ulster flanker Marcus Rea saved another try with a turnover penalty on his own line.

The game was effectively over on 39 minutes when Addison was sent off for a reckless tackle on Shane Daly. Under the laws of the tournament they were able to replace Addison after 20 minutes. Munster exacted a swift tariff when Haley scampered over for a try, which Hanrahan converted for 19-3, a score-line that was a fair reflection of their dominance. Ulster head coach Dan McFarland made five changes for the second half, replacing the frontrow, number eight and scrumhalf.

Ulster showed character on the resumption with Henderson burrowing over from close range, Lowry unerring with the conversion but on 54 minutes it was his pass that Rory Scannell intercepted for his second try. Hanrahan, who had an excellent game, scooted over for a try, which he converted to push the home side into a 33-10 lead. Ulster kept plugging away but despite kicking a series of penalties to the corner could not breach the Munster defence, even when Munster lost Peter O’Mahony to a yellow card.

It was the home side had the final say, Scannell’s lovely cross-kick grasped by the unmarked Andrew Conway who sauntered over for the try.

Scoring sequence - 2 mins: Lowry penalty, 0-3; 10 mins: R Scannell try, Hanrahan conversion, 7-3; 26 mins: Murray try, 12-3; 40 mins: Haley try, Hanrahan conversion, 19-3. Half-time: 19-3. 44 mins: Henderson try, Lowry conversion, 19-10; 54 mins: R Scannell try, Hanrahan conversion, 26-10; 58 mins: Hanrahan try, Hanrahan conversion, 33-10; 79 mins: Conway try, 38-10.

Munster: M Haley; A Conway, D Goggin, R Scannell, S Daly; JJ Hanrahan, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, J Ryan; F Wycherley, T Beirne; P O’Mahony (capt), C Cloete, G Coombes. Replacements: D de Allende for R Scannell 38-40 mins; J Loughman for Kilcoyne 56 mins; J Kleyn for Wycherley 56 mins; CJ Stander for Cloete 56 mins; K O’Byrne for N Scannell 60 mins; R Salanoa for Ryan 60 mins; N McCarthy for Murray 66 mins; B Healy for Hanrahan 66 mins; D de Allende for Goggin 72 mins.

Yellow card: P O’Mahony (Munster) 75 mins.

Ulster: J Stockdale; R Lyttle, W Addison, S McCloskey, E McIlroy; M Lowry, A Mathewson; A Warwick, J Andrew, T O’Toole; A O’Connor, I Henderson (capt); J Murphy, Marcus Rea, D McCann. Replacements: R Herring for Andrew half-time; C Reid for Warwick half-time; M Moore for O’Toole half-time; D Shanahan for Mathewson half-time; N Timoney for McCann half-time; J Hume for Addison (red card) 60 minutes; A Curtis for Lowry 62 mins; S Carter for Henderson 67 mins.

Red card: W Addison (Ulster)

Referee: C Evans (Wales)

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