Munster number eight Robin Copeland powers through the Cheetahs defence in their Guinness PRO14 tie in Bloemfontein on Friday night
MUNSTER made it back-to-back wins on their tour to South African when edging past the Cheetahs 19-17 in their Guinness Pro14 fixture in Bloemfontein on Friday night.
A superb 66th minute Conor Murray penalty goal, kicked from inside his own half, steered Munster to victory, ensuring the Irish province of a home fixture in the first play-off round of the new-look Pro14.
Murray, who came on as a first half replacement for the injured James Hart also sniped over for a vital first half try as Munster recovered from a 14-point deficit to record the second win of their tour following last Saturday’s success against the Southern Kings.
In winning the nail-biting game, Munster become the first travelling PRO14 side to win both of their games in South Africa this season in the Pro14.
The only downside for Munster was an unfortunate injury picked up by scrum-half Hart on 36 minutes. He will be assessed by Munster’s medical team.
The victory is a timely success for Johann van Graan’s side ahead of Sunday week’s mammoth Champions Cup semi-final clash away to Racing 92 in Bordeaux, 3.15pm Irish time.
The Munster squad is due to fly home from South Africa this Saturday.
The Cheetahs dominated the first half and led 17-7 at the break.
Tries from Clayton Blommetjies and Tian Meyer helped the hosts to that 10-point half-time lead.
Four second-half penalties, three from out-half JJ Hanrahan, gave Munster victory and the Irish province now lie nine points ahead of Cheetahs in third.
Cheetahs had come into the game on the back of a three-game winning streak.
MUNSTER: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, James Hart; Brian Scott, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Gerbrandt Grobler, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Jack O’Donoghue, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Dave O’Callaghan, Conor Oliver, Conor Murray, Ian Keatley, Rory Scannell.