Cheetahs struggling to get up to Pro14 speed
Munster inflict another heavy defeat on South African newcomers at Thomond Park
Munster’s Alex Wootton scores on of his four tries. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Munster 51 Cheetahs 18
Munster continued their brilliant start to the season and inflicted another big defeat on championship newcomers Cheetahs.
It was Munster’s inaugural Pro14 game at Thomond Park and they led 22-6 at half-time with Alex Wootton scoring twice after Tommy O’Donnell’s opener.
Munster held a 10-0 lead after Ian Keatley converted O’Donnell’s sixth-minute effort. Robbie Petzer scored a penalty in the 16th minute but Munster hit back, Wootton touched down brilliantly in the left corner.
Petzer kept the Cheetahs ticking over before Munster struck for their third try. All of the backs were involved before Andrew Conway sent Wootton over in the left corner.
The Cheetahs hit back after the break when Francois Venter caught the kick-off after half-time and broke the defensive line before William Small-Smith did the rest from inside his own half.
But Munster got in for two tries in as many minutes. Kleyn bulldozed his way over in the 49th minute and then Farrell scored his first try, with Keatley’s conversion giving them a comfortable 34-11 lead.
Wootton scored again before his replacement Zebo piled on the misery before Henco Venter scored a consolation.
Munster: A Conway; D Sweetnam, C Farrell, J Taute, A Wootton; I Keatley, D Williams; L O’Connor, R Marshall, S Archer; J Kleyn, B Holland; S O’Connor, T O’Donnell, J O’Donoghue. Replacements: N Scannell for Marshall (58 mins), D Kilcoyne for L O’Connor (58 mins), J Ryan for Archer (58 mins), R Scannell for Taute (60 mins), J Hart for Williams (61 mins), S Zebo for Wootton (61 mins), R Copeland for O’Donoghue (65 mins), F Wycherley for Kleyn (71 mins).
Cheetahs: C Blommetjies; S Petersen, F Venter, W Small-Smith, M Mapimpi; R Petzer, S Venter; C Marais, J du Toit, J Coetzee; R Bernardo, R Hugo; P Schoeman, H Venter, N Jordaan. Replacements: A Koster for Jordaan (28 mins), T van Jaarsveld for du Toit (50 mins) R Benjamin for Blommetjies (56 mins), O Nche for Marais (60 mins), T Botha for Coetzee (68 mins), T Meyer for S Venter (73 mins), J Basson for Bernardo (77 mins), A Mgijima for Benjamin (77 mins).
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales).