Dogged Munster strike late to sneak win over Cardiff

Late Paddy Butler try gets Anthony Foley’s side over the line at the Arms Park

 Munster’s JJ Hanrahan scored seven kicks from seven in Cardiff. Photograph: Ashley Crowden / Inpho

Munster’s JJ Hanrahan scored seven kicks from seven in Cardiff. Photograph: Ashley Crowden / Inpho

 

Cardiff Blues 24 Munster 28

Munster’s Paddy Butler served up a 28-24 victory at the Cardiff Arms Park with a last-ditch try.

The Blues looked to have snatched the four points after Manoa Vosawai had powered over from close range to add to Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino debut try in the firswt half, but the last-minute converted try gave Anthony Foley the perfect return to Guinness PRO12 action.

The Munster men, almost unrecognisable from last weekend’s 14-3 European win over Saracens, took an early lead thanks to the boot of JJ Hanrahan after the Blues went off their feet at a ruck.

The early offence sparked a kicking duel between the outhalf and his Welsh counterpart Rhys Patchell, who levelled the scores moments later.

They traded kicks again before Hanrahan got the upper hand.

The Arms Park side continued to test referee Marius Mitrea at the ruck and felt the full force of his whistle as Hanrahan landed five from five to make it 15-6.

But the Blues broke out before the break. Rhys Patchell burst down the unguarded left flank and slipped a perfectly timed flat pass to Argentina wing Amorosino, who dived in at the corner.

Munster marched straight back downfield but could only claim a sixth penalty to take the half-time score to 18-14.

After sustained pressure the Blues made their setpiece dominance pay when Vosawai crashed over from the base of a five-metre scrum.

Gareth Davies converted to give his side the lead for the first time, but Hanrahan and Munster bounced back to level matters.

Davies knocked over a simple penalty before Butler got the better of the scrambling home defence to crash over for the game-winning score.

Johnny Holland converted to hand Foley and co a 28-24 victory.

Cardiff Blues: R Patchell (D Fish 50), R Smith, A Thomas, G Evans, L Amorosino, G Davies, L Williams (L Jones 50); S Hobbs, M Rees (capt) (K Dacey 52), A Jones, J Hoeata (M Cook 60), F Paulo, J Turnbull, J Navidi (E Jenkins 74), M Vosawai

Tries - Gonzalez-Amorosino, Vosawai. Con - Davies. Pen - Patchell (3), Davies.

Munster: J Murphy; A Conway (O’Mahony 52), A Smith, R Scannell, G van den Heever; JJ Hanrahan (J Holland 65), D Williams (Sheridan 59); J Ryan, K O’Byrne, BJ Botha; D O’Callaghan (capt), B Holland (Archer 59); CJ Stander, P Butler, Robin Copeland

Try - Butler. Con - Holland. Pen - Hanrahan (7).

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