Munster maul meek Leicester Tigers to top Champions Cup pool

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent at Thomond Park


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent at Thomond Park


Munster maul meek Leicester Tigers to top Champions Cup pool

Simon Zebo scores Munster's second try in their 33-10 bonus point win over Leicester Tigers in the Champions Cup at Thomond Park on Saturday night

CLINICAL Munster stormed to the top of Pool 4 of the Champions Cup after scoring an emphatic 33-10 bonus point win over a hugely disappointing Leicester Tigers side before an official attendance of 23,503 at Thomond Park on Saturday night.

Munster thumped Leicester 38-0 at the same stage of the competition 12 months ago at Thomond Park, before suffering a last gasp defeat to the Tigers at Welford Road just eight days later in the return game.

So Munster will be on their guard travelling to the Tigers’ den tomorrow week. However, it is going to take something special for the Aviva Premiership side to bounce back from this heavy defeat in such a short space of time.

A dominant Munster side raced into a commanding 23-3 lead at half-time. The home side scored tries through hooker Rhys Marshall, his first in Europe, and full-back Simon Zebo.

Out-half Ian Keatley who controlled the game superbly all through, despite picking up a first half knee injury, also kicked 13 first half points.

Munster added further tries in the second period from captain Peter O’Mahony and fellow back-rower Chris Cloete, who bagged the bonus point try in the 67th minute, to run out impressive winners mand remain unbeaten in Pool 4 after three rounds.

Munster now enjoy a four point lead on Castres Olympique and are five ahead of Leicester ahead of next weekend’s round of games.

Munster face Leicester Tigers in the return game at Welford Road on Sunday, December 17 at 5.30pm.

SCORERS: Munster: Rhys Marshall, Simon Zebo, Peter O’Mahony. Chris Cloete try each, Ian Keatey three pens, two cons. Leicester Tigers: Harry Thacker try, George Ford pen, con.

MUNSTER: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Sam Arnold, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland, Peter O'Mahony (capt), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander. Replacements: Kevin O'Byrne, Brian Scott, John Ryan, Darren O'Shea, Jack O'Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Darren Sweetnam.

LEICESTER TIGERS: Telusa Veainu; Adam Thompstone, Matt Smith, Mathew Tait, Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Kyle Traynor, Tom Youngs (capt), Dan Cole, Mike Fitzgerald, Graham Kitchener, Valentino Mapapalangi, Luke Hamilton, Sione Kalamafoni. Replacements: Harry Thacker, Logovi'i Mulipola, Chris Baumann, Dom Barrow, Mike Williams, Sam Harrison, Joe Ford, Nick Malouf.

REFEREE: Jérome Garcès (France)