Munster's Francis Saili in action
MUNSTER jumped up to fifth place in Guinness Pro12 table after securing a hard-earned 26-5 bonus point victory over Dragons at Thomond Park on Saturday night.
Munster made heavy work of this precious victory, with the bonus point try arriving courtesy of replacement prop James Cronin in the 79th minute of an uninspiring fixture.
Munster moved within four points of fourth-placed Ulster as a result of this win. Anthony Foley’s charges also have a game in hand on their Irish provincial rivals. That game is away to Cardiff and will be played on Friday, March 18 at the Arms Park.
Munster led 12-0 at half-time with tries from prop Dave Kilcoyne and centre Rory Scannell. Out-half Ian Keatley added a conversion.
When Kilcoyne struck for his second try of the game – and fourth touchdown in three games – shortly after the re-start it seemed only a matter of time before the home side secured a bonus point. Keatley’s conversion made it 19-0 for the home side.
However, the Dragons hit back with a try from winger Hallam Amos on 47 minutes. And excellent covering from replacement prop James Cronin prevented the Welsh region from grounding the ball for a second try on the hour mark.
It was Cronin who secured the bonus point from Munster when he rumbled over from close range a minute from full time.
SCORERS: Dave Kilcoyne two tries, Rory Scannell, James Cronin try each, Ian Keatley two cons, Jonny Holland con, Dragons: Hallam Amos try.
MUNSTER: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Mark Chisholm, Billy Holland (capt), Dave O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, Jack O'Donoghue. Replacements: Mike Sherry, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Robin Copeland, Cathal Sheridan, Johnny Holland, David Johnston.
NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS: Carl Meyer; Ashton Hewitt, Adam Hughes, Adam Warren, Hallam Amos; Jason Tovey, Charlie Davies; Phil Price, Thomas Rhys Thomas (capt), Brok Harris, Cory Hill, Matthew Screech, Nick Crosswell, Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans. Replacements: Elliot Dee, Shaun Knight, Lloyd Fairbrother, Rynard Landman, Ed Jackson, Sarel Pretorius, Angus O'Brien, Ross Wardle.
REFEREE: Marius Mitrea (Italy)