Player Ratings | O’Donoghue the star as Zebo breaks Munster record

Munster managed to make it four wins from four after another impressive performance in Europe.

After successive last minute victories, Munster closed off their Champions Cup group stage with a fourth successive win to secure their place in the knockout stages. They will now face Exeter in the round of 16.

Munster ran in four tries in the first half, all of which were converted by Ben Healy for the extra two points.

Conor Murray got over the line on the 8th minute as Dan Robson knocked the ball on in an attempt to tackle Tadhg Beirne in the confusion Murray grabbed the ball and touched it down over the line.

Simon Zebo got in on the act on the 17th minute. Ben Healy put in a kick over the defence which Zebo gathered and was dragged across the try line for the five points.

Dan Robson replied for the English giants but that was their only score as Munster added four more tries for a 45-7 win in Thomond Park.

23 January 2022; Craig Casey of Munster during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool B match between Munster and Wasps at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

And after another fine performance from Munster in Europe, below are the player ratings from the latest win.

Player Ratings

Jeremy Loughman – 8

Loughman had the difficult task of coming into the starting side on short notice due to Dave Kilcoyne’s injury. Loughman definitely took his chance in the spotlight as his carrying of the ball coupled with strong tackles made him a nuisance. All his work culminated in a try to close prior to the half time whistle.

Diarmuid Barron – 7

Barron didn’t have that instant impact like Loughman, but he stood up and played for the team. He made some vital tackles near the end of the first half and was decent when throwing the ball in at lineouts.

Stephen Archer – 7

Archer stormed into the game early as he clocked multiple carries very quickly. He was proactive on both sides of the field as he looked to seize his opportunity. Sadly, his scrummaging left a little to be desired as the team was penalised more frequently on his side.

Jean Kleyn – 7

As a second rower Kleyn performed his jobs admirably. He was a major factor in the defence of the maul and try line when it looked like Wasps were going to score a second try. He also looked to offload the ball to keep his team moving quickly even if some of his attempts were in vain.

Tadgh Beirne – 8

As always Tadgh Beirne performed excellently. He was a regular nuisance at the breakdown and lineout causing disturbances and vital penalties. A powerful ball carrier, Beirne got Munster moving forward and looked to keep play alive when he could.

Peter O’Mahony – 8

Like Beirne, O’Mahony is a professional nuisance all over the pitch. He had steals in the lineout, greatly hindering the Wasps side in the process. He made carry’s, tackles and his defence against the maul was outstanding.

Jack O’Donoghue – 9

Awarded the Star of the Match at the full time whistle and for good reason too. After putting in an incredible eighteen tackles throughout the match O’Donoghue then added a try to his stats for the game. His turnover helped stop the Wasp’s momentum allowing Munster some breathing room and they weren’t threatened from then on with the Waterford man instrumental on both sides of the ball.

Gavin Coombes – 8

Coombes most notable moment in the match was his barnstorming carry where he sat Charlie Atkinson on the deck. Other than this he tackled and carried as well as ever. The only blemish on his game was the yellow card he was shown for illegal maul defence.

Conor Murray – 8

Murray opened up the scoring as he dotted the ball down on the 8th minute mark. Showing his rugby IQ, the scrumhalf reacted first to the ball loose on the ground. The try was confirmed once the TMO confirmed it was a Dan Robson knock on. He controlled the pace of the game well as Munster went about their business en route to victory.

Ben Healy – 8

Healy answered his critics well as he showed great class during this performance. Kicking was the order of the day as converted four tries and one penalty. He showed his intelligence with some clever kicks to control the game, including a beauty to set Zebo free.

Simon Zebo – 8.5

Zebo had a special game as with his two tries he became Munster top try scorer in Europe surpassing the great Anthony Foley. His excellent positioning led to two smartly taken tries. His massive line break to start Scannell’s try made it seem like he had never left.

23 January 2022; Simon Zebo of Munster with teammate Mike Haley, left, after he scored their side’s second try during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool B match between Munster and Wasps at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Rory Scannell – 8

Scannell used his speed and intelligence to push the pace from inside centre. Partnering Farrell, the two centres played brilliantly off of each other. Scannell got the pay off for a strong performance as with the game in the red he finished off a great team try.

Chris Farrell – 7.5

Farrell like Scannell pushed the pace of the game to keep Munster on the front foot for most of the contest. Consistently offloading out of the tackle, Farrells size and skill combined perfectly to keep Munster moving forward with the ball. Farrell also did his job on the defensive side of the game also.

Andrew Conway – 7

Conway bounced back with a good performance on the wing as he put last weeks game behind him. His strong ball carrying, and counter-attacking kicks caused much worry in the Wasp’s defence helping to keep them on the back foot for the majority of the game.

Mike Haley – 7.5

Haley was up to his usual tricks as he looked dangerous each time he had ball in hand. Producing sixty-nine meters out of twelve carries he was vital for Munster’s attacking threat. Under the high ball he was unmatched as Munster were always in safe hands when he rose up.

Substitutes

Scott Buckley – 7

Buckley came off the bench and played well. He got stuck in straight away after coming on. In his short time on the field, Buckley managed an incredible ten tackles helping stop Wasps in their tracks.

Josh Wycherley – 6

Not much to report as Wycherley wasn’t able to really put any sort of stamp on the pitch.

John Ryan – 6

Like Wycherley, Ryan came on and in the twenty minutes didn’t have much to do for himself.

Fineen Wycherley – 6.5

Wycherley put in eight tackles while on the field with a couple of carries to boot. Coming on for Jean Kleyn, he threw himself about quite well.

John Hodnett – 6

A usual bright spark when off the bench, Hodnett really didn’t have much of an impact on the game. His ten minutes weren’t enough to get into the contest.

Craig Casey – 7

Casey was very busy coming on. In fifteen minutes he helped speed up the tempo of the game recording fourteen passes as Munster looked for the final try.

Jack Crowley – 7

Crowley came on for Healy to finish out the game. In his time on the pitch Munster scored two tries that he converted for the extras each time.

Alex Kendellen – 6.5

Kendellen managed a couple of carries in his short time on the pitch helping Munster get good retention of the ball. The backrower also recorded five tackles to help the squad squash any hope for Wasps momentum.

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