Jean Kleyn’s second-half try sees Munster edge out Dragons

Johann van Graan’s side go back top of Conference A after low-key win

Munster’s Darren Sweetnam attempts to beat Will Talbot-Davies of Dragons to the ball during the Guinness Pro 14 at  Rodney Parade. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Inpho

Munster’s Darren Sweetnam attempts to beat Will Talbot-Davies of Dragons to the ball during the Guinness Pro 14 at Rodney Parade. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Inpho

 

Dragons 7 Munster 8

Munster returned to the Guinness Pro 14 Conference A summit ahead of Glasgow Warriors as they beat the Dragons 8-7 in a low-key clash at Rodney Parade.

The Dragons led 7-3 at half-time thanks to a try from tighthead prop Lloyd Fairbrother, which Josh Lewis converted, against a Bill Johnston penalty for Munster.

But an unconverted try by lock Jean Kleyn, the only score of the second period, gave the Irish visitors the victory.

The persistent rain thwarted running rugby as both teams chose a kicking game, some decent, some aimless, through the first half.

And with plenty of handling errors, it was not a pretty sight as Munster looked to go back above Glasgow Warriors, who won 9-3 on Friday against the Ospreys.

The Dragons had the better of it in terms of territory before the break as Munster, with 13 changes from the team which beat Exeter 9-7 in the Champions Cup last weekend and 11 of those away with the Irish Six Nations squad, lacked coherence.

As a result, the Welsh region went ahead on 14 minutes when Fairbrother drove over from a metre after a series of rucks on the Munster line.

Lewis converted and the home side could have had another when centre Tyler Morgan went through the Munster midfield, fed wing Jared Rosser only for the flyer to be brought down 10 metres short.

The Irishmen began to click as half-time approached. Johnston booted a 26-metre penalty to reduce the arrears and with scrumhalf Alby Mathewson in the thick of it, referee Ben Blain went to the video referee when lock Billy Holland drove over but did not award Munster the try.

Lewis tried to extend the Dragons’ lead early in the second period with a 30-metre drop goal which barely got off the ground.

Munster pressurised the Dragons for an age just metres from the home line just before the hour mark as the Welshmen gave away penalty after penalty and saw lock Matthew Screech sin-binned for pulling down a ruck.

But the Irish province could not make the most of their advantage, Kleyn, one of the two survivors from last week’s European game, dropping the ball in the process of scoring.

However, the secondrow made up for his error on 64 minutes by driving over from a metre. It went unconverted as Munster established a one-point lead.

The awful standard continued right to the final whistle as Munster took their 10th league win from 14 games, while it was a 10th Pro 14 reverse for the Dragons.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.