Munster move into second with Cardiff win ahead of final URC game

Munster edged closer to home advantage in the play-offs of the URC with a comprehensive win over Cardiff in Musgrave Park.

Five tries from the hosts were enough for a 42-21 win as Munster moved into second in the URC table with just one round of the normal season to play.

Cardiff started brilliantly with Seb Davies scoring in the right corner after just two minutes withJarrod Evans converting from the touchline to give Cardiff a 7-0 lead.

Man of the match, Mike Haley hit back with his first try three minutes later after an incredible sequence from Munster. Simon Zebo on the left wing made good yards before Rory Scannell whipped a pass to Jack O’Donoghue on the right wing and he popped for Haley to run in. Healy converted and it was 7-7 after seven minutes.

Rey Lee-Lo scored Cardiff’s second try on 11 minutes and Evans converted to make it 14-7.

Zebo saw a try chalked off and was then held up after a clever move involving Farrell and Healy before Thomas Ahern and Alex Kendellen counter-rucked to win a penalty and Healy reduced the Cardiff lead to four points.

Jeremy Loughman came up with a big steal and Diarmuid Barron threw a great pass out right to Chris Farrell to launch another Munster attack with Haley jinking through a gap in midfield for his second on 25 minutes. Healy converted to give Munster the lead for the first time, 17-14.

A big turnover from John Ryan halted a Cardiff attack and Munster were in for a vital third try just before the break with Calvin Nash nearly crossing before Ahern burrowed over for a 24-14 half-time lead.

Cardiff were back in the game on 55 minutes when Lloyd Williams dummied off the base of the ruck to slice through for Cardiff’s third try with Evans converting to whittle the Munster lead down to six points at 27-21.

Healy kicked his third penalty on the hour to give Munster some breathing room before replacement Craig Casey got in for the bonus-point try on 62 after another fantastic Munster. O’Donoghue assisted with an offload and Joey Carbery kicked the conversion to make it 37-21.

Casey put a gloss on the scoreline in the final minutes with the fifth try as the scrum-half took a quick-tap and ducked under a defender to score and wrap up a fine night’s work. 

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