Penney slams ‘soft’ Munster

Treviso 34 Munster 10

Penney slams ‘soft’ Munster

Outscored five tries to one and left chasing shadows by a Treviso side missing 18 front line players, Penney declined the opportunity to extract any positives from the rubble, and was scathing in his appraisal of the display.

Munster, of, course were without a number of frontline players themselves, but even considering their absence, they were well below par.

They trailed from start to finish, and bar a short-lived resurgence after half time, were outmanoeuvred right across the park.

Only Stephen Archer and his front row companions emerged with any real credit. Every point scored by Munster came as a direct result of their endeavours in the scrum, including a second half penalty try.

“I expected our boys to show more courage and fortitude,” an angry Penney said. “Some players need to take a long hard look at themselves after that. We were soft, we lacked courage, Benetton ripped into us and got the deserved outcome. Without taking away from them, that was definitely our most disappointing performance of the season.”

Benetton took control just three minutes in, Ludovico Nitoglia touching down beneath the posts with the visitors apparently still in snooze mode.

But not even the try served to wake Munster out of their slumber. Meanwhile, Benetton were busy going through the gears and added a second try midway through the half when Fillipo Giusti stormed home off the back of a five-metre rolling maul.

The home support braced themselves for the expected backlash, but none materialised from the men in red.

Instead, Treviso added a third before half-time when Denis Hurley failed to deal with Alberto Di Bernardo’s crossfield kick, allowing Gideon le Grange to cross the whitewash.

Munster enjoyed a renaissance of sorts immediately after the break and forced a penalty try after a series of collapsed scrums in front of the Benetton sticks.

But their reprieve was short-lived. Playing with a one-man numerical advantage after the sin-binning of Tommy O’Donnell, Treviso secured the bonus point thanks to a Fabio Semenzato try, before Giulio Toniolatti added the frosting with a fifth try close to the death.

The result leaves Munster’s RaboDirect ambitions now hanging by a thread. Penney added: “We’re not out of it, but it means we need to have some great performances from here on in, plus were are relying on other teams to succumb, which isn’t ideal. It’s going to be a test of mental fortitude and resilience now, and all the other words you throw out when the sun goes behind a big black cloud. We’re in a professional sporting environment and guys need to make sure they are in the right mental place to front up again. If they don’t, they won’t survive in the game.”

Scorers for Treviso: Tries: Nitoglia, Giusti, De Grange, Semenzato, Toniolatti Cons: Di Bernardo 3 Pen: Di Bernardo.

Scorers for Munster: Try: Pen Try Con: Keatley Pen: Keatley.

TREVISO: B Williams; L Nitoglia, A Pratichetti (J Ambrosini 75), G la Grange (T Iannone 57), G Toniolatti (F Sbaraglini 50-60); A Di Bernardo (M Fuser 70), F Semenzato; M Rizzo (M Muccignat 67), G Maistri (F Sbaraglini 67), J Roux (P di Santo 67); V Bernabó, C van Zyl (capt); D Budd, F Giusti, C Loamanu (M Filippucci 59).

Yellow: Maistri 50 .

MUNSTER: F Jones; D Hurley, C Laulala (I Dineen 63), J Downey (JJ Hanrahan 53), J Murphy; I Keatley, D Williams (C Sheridan 65); W du Preez (J Ryan 73), M Sherry (capt) (D Varley 73), S Archer (BJ Botha 56); I Nagle (D Foley 56), B Holland; P Butler, T O’Donnell, J Coughlan (CJ Stander 63).

Yellow: O’Donnell 60.

Referee: Neil Paterson (Scot).

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