GRITTY Munster moved up to third place in the Guinness PRO12 table, thanks to a dramatic 28-24, come-from-behind win over Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Saturday night.
A late try from flanker Paddy Butler, brilliantly converted by replacement Johnny Holland, steered Munster to an unlikely win over a Blues side which had dominated territory and possession for long stretches of the second period.
The result means Munster have lost just one of their last eight fixtures in all competitions ahead of the break for the autumn international series.
Anthony Foley’s Munster side led 18-14 at half-time thanks to the boot of out-half JJ Hanrahan, who kicked six penalties, after Lucas Amorosino’s debut try for the Blues. Monoa Vosawai’s try and Gareth Davies’ conversion put the home side ahead in the second half.
Hanrahan levelled and Davies restored Blues’ lead, but Butler’s 77th minute try proved the difference.
Cardiff have only managed to beat Munster once in their last nine meetings.
Munster’s next outing in the Guinness PRO12 is a meeting with the Dragons at Rodney Parade on Friday, November 21.
SCORERS: Cardiff: Lucas Amorosino, Manoa Vosawai try each, Rhys Patchell three pens, Gareth Davies pen, con. Munster: Paddy Butler try, JJ Hanrahan seven pens, Johnny Holland con.
CARDIFF BLUES: Rhys Patchell; Richard Smith, Adam Thomas, Gavin Evans, Lucas Amorosino; Gareth Davies, Lloyd Williams; Sam Hobbs, Matthew Rees (capt), Adam Jones, Jarrad Hoeata, Filo Paulo, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Manoa Vosawai. Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Thomas Davies, Taufa’ao Filise, Macauley Cook, Ellis Jenkins, Lewis Jones, Garyn Smith, Dan Fish.
MUNSTER: Johne Murphy; Andrew Conway, Andrew Smith, Rory Scannell, Gerhard van den Heever; JJ Hanrahan, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Kevin O’Byrne, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan (capt), Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Paddy Butler, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Eusebio Guinazu, Alan Cotter, Stephen Archer, Sean McCarthy, Barry O’Mahony, Cathal Sheridan, Johnny Holland, Ronan O’Mahony.
REFEREE: Marius Mitrea (Italy)