Treviso make Munster work hard for bonus-point victory

Munster got the bonus-point win required to keep their Guinness Pro 12 challenge running, but it was not quite achieved with the satisfaction they might have wanted at Musgrave Park this afternoon.

Treviso make Munster work hard for bonus-point victory

By Barry Coughlan

Munster 30 Treviso 19

Munster got the bonus-point win required to keep their Guinness Pro 12 challenge running, but it was not quite achieved with the satisfaction they might have wanted at Musgrave Park this afternoon.

Munster sometimes struggled against an Italian side that never allowed the home side pull away despite moments when it looked like they might do so.

It was all Munster from the early stages, their solid lead built on an early penalty strike from Ian Keatley. The out half missed a couple of subsequent kicks but Munster moved into an impressive 13-0 lead with tries from Simon Zebo and CJ Stander inside the opening quarter.

Within a few minutes, however, Treviso were back in the game courtesy of a try from Matthew Luamanu off a powerful maul and Jaden Hayward converted.

There was to be no panic in the Munster ranks as they kept plugging away, scorning kicks at goal for territory and the hope of another try.

It came on the stroke of half time from Tommy O’Donnell, who was sent scorching clear by Conor Murray off a perfect line out take from skipper Peter O’Mahony, and Keatley converted for a half time lead of 20-7.

Munster weren’t quite so clever two minutes into the second half when the Treviso out half scythed through the Munster defence and paved the way for a fine try from Andrea Pratichetti that Hayward converted.

Munster struck back with a Keatley penalty awarded for offside, but it could have been better, given that Murray lost the ball as he attempted to ground the ball on the line.

Munster got the bonus point following another of their powerful scrums in the 67th minute with Keatley converting to push the lead out to 30-14, but Treviso refused to lay down and snatched a 74th minute try from winger Simone Ragusi.

Munster: F Jones; K Earls, A Smith, R Scannell, S Zebo; I Keatley, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, D Casey, S Archer; B Holland, D Ryan; P O'Mahony (captain), T O'Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: R O’Mahony for Jones (injured, 52), BJ Botha for Archer (53), E Guinazu for Casey (56), JJ Hanrahan for Scannell (68). Donncha O’Callaghan for Holland, Dave O’Callaghan for O’Mahony, J Ryan for Kilcoyne, D Williams for Murray (all 70).

Treviso: J Hayward, S Rigusi, L Morisi, A Pratichetti, L Nigoglia, S Christie, E Gori, M Zanusso, D Giazzon, R Harden, M Fuser, C Van Zyl (captain), P Derbyshire, F Minto, M Luamanu.

Replacements: M Lazzaroni for Derbyshire (57), A Anae for Gioazzon, R Acosta for harden (both 61), J Novack for Zanusso (68), M Swanepoel for van Zyl (both 71), N Cattina for Luamanu (77), J Ambrosini for Ragusi (78).

Referee. B Whitehouse (Wales).

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