Munster take bonus-point win away from Zebre

Tries from Felix Jones, CJ Stander, Conor Murray and Simon Zebo secure Pro12 win

Zebre 7 Munster 31

Munster cruised to a sixth successive victory over Zebre to return to winning ways in the Guinness Pro 12.

Following a 24-16 defeat at provincial rivals Connacht on New Year’s Day, which included throwing away a 13-point lead, there was to be no such present for Italian side Zebre on this occasion as Munster triumphed 31-7.

Felix Jones, CJ Stander and Conor Murray all scored converted first-half tries on the back of an early penalty from Ian Keatley to give Munster a 24-0 half-time lead at the Stadio XXV Aprile.

Shortly after the break Simon Zebo added a fourth converted try and at that stage a thorough rout was on the cards, only for Munster to take their foot off the gas with the victory in the bag.

Zebre did at least grab a consolation try through Oliveiro Fabiani that was converted by Luciano Orquera to ensure they avoided being blanked.

The bonus-point win has lifted Munster up to second in the overall standings, a point behind new leaders Glasgow Warriors, although Ospreys can regain top spot with a win over Newport Gwent Dragons on Sunday.

ZEBRE: Odiete; Venditti, Iannone, Haimona, L Sarto; Padovani, Leonard; De Marchi, Manici, Redolfini; Geldenhuys, Bortolami; Cristiano, Mauro Bergamasco, Van Schalkwyk.

Replacements: Fabiani for Mancini (24 mins), Orquera for Padovani, Palazzani for Venditti (both 41 mins), Mirco Bergamasco for Orquera (44 mins), J Sarto for Cristiano, Bernabo for Mauro Bergamasco (53 mins), Chistolini for Redolfini (57 mins), Leibson for De Marchi (69 mins),

MUNSTER: Jones; R O'Mahony, Howard, Hanrahan, Zebo; Keatley, Murray; Guinazu, O'Byrne, Archer; Foley, B Holland; Dave O'Callaghan, P O'Mahony, Stander.

Replacements: Williams for Murray (34 mins), J Cronin for Guinazu, N Scannell for O'Byrne ( both 51 mins),Earls for R O'Mahony (55), Donncha O'Callaghan for Foley (60 mins), Butler for P O'Mahony (68 mins), J Murphy for Keatley (71 mins). Not used: J Ryan.

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales).