WATCH: Late Hanrahan penalty from halfway puts Munster into Pro14 semi

Munster will play Leinster in the Pro14 semi final following a nail biting 15-13 win over Benetton Rugby at Thomond Park.

Johann van Graan’s men needed a last ditch 50 metre penalty from JJ Hanrahan to earn the two point victory.

Munster had all the ball in the first half but a combination of poor attacking and some disciplined Benetton defending kept them out early on.

They had the chance to go ahead from the kicking tee on 11 minutes but having initially opted for a kick at goal, Bleyendaal kicked to the corner.

Jean Kleyn won the resulting lineout but more solid defence saw Benetton stifle the Munster maul and win a scrum five metres from their own line.

Guinness PRO14 Quarter-Final, Thomond Park, Limerick 4/5/2019 Munster vs Benetton Munster’s Chris Farrell tackled by Benetton Tommaso Allan and Marco Zanon Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Munster continued to dominate possession and could have taken the lead on 15 minutes when both Darren Sweetnam and Chris Farrell went close but were held up.

They should have scored moments late when Conor Murray’s flat pass released Tadhg Beirne but he spilled possession on the try line.

Bleyendaal kicked Munster ahead on 23 minutes but that was cancelled out by Tommaso Allan moments later with Benetton’s first attack of the game.

The Italian side went in at the break ahead thanks to a sensational try that was finished off by Ratuva Tavuyara.

Jayden Hayward made the surge into the Munster ’22 and when the ball was recycled, Benetton fired the ball out to the right where Tavuyara was on hand to finish in the corner.

Allan landed a superb conversion to put the Italian outfit into a 10-3 advantage at the end of a scrappy opening 40 minutes.

Munster made a promising start to the second half when Peter O’Mahony won a Benetton lineout and the away side were blown up for playing the ball on the ground.

Bleyendaal made no mistake from straight in front of the posts to cut the lead to four points.

Benetton put that advantage back to seven points on the hour thanks to Allan’s second penalty of the game.

Hanrahan immediately cancelled that out with his first kick of the game and then put one point between the teams with another straightforward effort from the kicking tee.

JJ Hanrahan had a chance to give Munster the lead once more from halfway with three minutes remaining and he did just that with a stunning strike.

Antonio Rizzi and Jayden Hayward had late drop goal attempts for Benetton but both failed to hit the target and Munster held on for the narrow victory.

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