Tries from new South African second row Jean Kleyn and Cian Bohane helped Munster to a 20-16 win over the Dragons in Rodney Parade on Saturday evening.
Kleyn – making his first competitive start – powered over for the first try on 20 minutes and Tyler Bleyendaal converted to add to his earlier penalty. That put Munster 10-3 up but a Hallam Allos try after he intercepted Colm O’Shea’s pass had the sides level 10-10 at the break, the conversion coming from Angus O’Brien.
Two O’Brien penalties in the second half against one from Bleyendaal had the Dragons 16-13 up heading for the hour-mark but then Munster struck for the crucial score in somewhat bizarre circumstances. Darren Sweetnam went over the try line but lost possession while attempting to touch down closer the posts. Luckily the ball went backwards and Bohane was on hand to pounce and ground the ball. Bleyendaal added the conversion and it remained 20-16 to the final whistle.
Next up for Munster is a clash with Edinburgh in Thomond Park next Saturday.
DRAGONS: Carl Meyer, Pat Howard, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon (Adam Warren 77’), Hallam Amos, Angus O’Brien, Sarel Pretorius (Charlie Davies 68’), Sam Hobbs (Thomas Davies 52’), Rhys Buckley, Brok Harris (Craig Mitchell 52’), Nick Crosswell (Cory Hill 55’), Rynard Landman, Lewis Evans (captain), Ollie Griffiths (Nic Cudd 58’), Ed Jackson (James Thomas 71’).
MUNSTER: Andrew Conway (Ian Keatley 55’), Darren Sweetnam, Colm O’Shea (Cian Bohane 41’), Dan Goggin, Ronan O’Mahony, Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray, James Cronin (Dave Kilcoyne 53’), Niall Scannell (Duncan Casey 68’), John Ryan, Jean Kleyn (Dave O’Callaghan 53’), Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland (captain), Jack O’Donoghue (Conor Oliver 73’), CJ Stander. Replacements not used: Brian Scott, Duncan Williams.