TEN unanswered points points in the final four minutes helped Munster record a precious 23-13 victory over Cardiff Blues in the Guinness PRO12 at the Arms Park on Saturday evening.
A 76th minute drop goal from the boot of Rory Scannell, followed by a try from replacement Conor Oliver – also converted by Scannell helped a gritty Munster side boost their top four play-off hopes.
The victory saw Munster bounce back to winning ways after their nine-game winning run in the Pro12 was ended by the Scarlets at Thomond Park eight days earlier.
Cardiff Blues wing Aled Summerhill and replacement Munster centre Francis Saili had crossed for the only tries of a tight first 76 minutes, with Steve Shingler and Scannell booting the rest of the points.
But, with the game tied at 13-13, Scannell stepped back in the pocket to drop a goal and replacement Oliver added gloss to the scoreline.
CARDIFF BLUES: Matthew Morgan; Aled Summerhill, Willis Halaholo, Steven Shingler, Tom James; Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams (capt); Corey Domachowski, Matthew Rees, Anton Peikrishvili, George Earle, Jarrad Hoeata, Macauley Cook, Josh Navidi, Nick Williams. Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Marc Thomas, Taufa'ao Filise, James Down, Sion Bennett, Tomos Williams, Garyn Smith, Rhun Williams.
MUNSTER: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Ronan O'Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer, Darren O'Shea, Billy Holland (capt), Dave O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Kevin O'Byrne, Peter McCabe, Brian Scott, Fineen Wycherley, Conor Oliver, Abrie Griesel, Dan Goggin, Francis Saili.
REFEREE: Mike Adamson (Scotland)