On a historic day for Irish international rugby, Munster played their part by easily dismissing Scarlets in their RaboDirect Pro12 clash at Musgrave Park on Saturday night.Despite the wind and rain,the home side scored four tries and were never in any danger of losing this match.
Scarlets got the first points of the night when Dan Newton kicked a penalty in the opening minutes. Ian Keatley soon drew Munster level and from then on the home side dominated the half. They kept the visitors pinned back in their own defence for much of the game and never allowed them to get into a rhythm. Johnny Murphy and Keatley were doing especially well as the hosts stepped up the pressure. Dougie Howlett rounded off a fine breakaway move and touched down in the corner to give his side a five point lead. Keatley added the conversion and Munster led 10-3.
Newton was keeping his side in the tie and he landed a great penalty to reduce the margin to four. However, Keatley hit back for Munster with a similar score. The same player then kicked an easy penalty try from under the posts, after Scarlets were penalised. This left the scoreline at 20-06. The Scarlets outhalf had the final say of the half, as he knocked over a long range score to leave his side trailing by 11 points at the interval(20-09).
The second half was slow to get going,as the rain began to pour down in Cork. Dan Newton got the first score after ten minutes to make it 20-12 to Munster. The home side needed another score or two to be sure of the win but as the half wore on they struggled to add to their first half tally. Ian Keatley has been excellent for Munster this season and he kicked a huge penalty into the wind and rain on sixty two minutes to give the men in red some breathing space(23-12).
Duncan Williams wrapped up the win for the hosts, when he broke clear and dived over to leave the score 28-12. Keatley missed the difficult conversion but the five points were just what his side had required. Tommy O’Donnell scored the fourth try of the night to ensure the bonus point and put the game well out of the visitors reach. The outstanding Keatley converted to leave twenty three between the sides.