Ian Keatley guides Munster to win over Cardiff Blues
Anthony Foley’s men come from 10-points behind twice to make it four on the bounce
Ian Keatley was the man-of-the-match as Munster’s late show was enough to get them past Cardiff Blues in Cork. Photograph: Inpho
Munster 35 Cardiff 27
Munster moved top of the Pro12 when they maintained their winning start to the season despite twice falling ten points behind at Musgrave Park.
But Anthony Foley’s men fought back each time to gain control and won in the end by five tries to three, ensuring that the Welsh left without even a bonus point.
Munster will now head to Llanelli next Friday night for a top of the table clash and Foley will be looking for them to shore up a suspect defence.
Indeed, they could have been further than 10-0 down after just over a quarter of the game but Rhys Patchell missed three penalties in the opening ten minutes as Cardiff got on top from the outset.
The home support in the crowd of 6,124 expected Munster to push on from there but it was the Blues responded with Patchell sending Richard Smith over in the left corner before converting to make it 17-14 at the interval.
Centre Tom Isaacs punished slack defending to score Cardiff’s third try four minutes after the restart, with Patchell’s conversion putting ten points between the sides again.
But Munster hit back with Sherry getting his second try after a good maul following a lineout take by Mark Chsihol.
And then they hit the front 18 minutes from time when they pushed Cardiff off a five-metre scrum and Jordan Coghlan, making his second appearance since moving from Leinster, pounced to score.
Andrew Conway became the third former Leinster player to score when he finished a good move six minutes from time to seal the win and send Cardiff home without even a bonus point.
Munster: Tries: M Sherry (2), I Keatley, J Coghlan, A Conway Cons: I Keatley (5)
Cardiff: Tries: T Knoyle, R Smith, T Isaacs Cons: R Patchell (3) Pens: R Patchell (2)
Munster: A Conway; S Monahan, F Saili, R Scannell, G van den Heever; I Keatley, D Williams; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha; M Chisholm, D Foley; D O’Callaghan, J O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.
Replacements: N Scannell for Sherry (3-14 mins), J Cronin for Kilcoyne (52 mins), J Coghlan for O’Donoghue (52 min), T O’Leary for Williams (52 mins), D Johnston for Conway (59-63 mins), N Scannell for Sherry (71 mins), R Copeland for Chisholm (71 mins), D Hurley for R Scannell (71 mins), J Ryan for Botha (75 mins), Johnston for Conway (75 mins).
Cardiff Blues: D Fish; G Smith, T Isaacs, G Evans, R Smith; R Patchell, T Knoyle; S Hobbs, M Rees, C Mitchell; L Reed, J Down; J Turnbull, E Jenkins, M Vosawai.
Replacements: K Dacey for Rees (50 mins), J Groves for Jenkins (52 mins), G Davies for Evans (58 mins), J Davies for Hobbs (63 mins), M Cook for Reed (63 mins), L Jones for Knoyle (77 mins), D Lewis for Mitchell (78 mins).
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU).