After early pressure Miah Nicora kicked Connacht into a 3 point lead with a penalty for a lead that lasted all of three minutes, Declan Cusack converting a penalty from the left and the out-half improved on that in the 14th minute, his penalty squirting over off the left right upright.
Connacht levelled with another Nicora penalty as Munster continued to rack up the penalties but in the 22nd minute good hands from Tom Gleeson - after a probing Dave Ryan run - put Danny Barnes in for the opening try.
Connacht's Nicora had two opportunities to reduce the deficit but missed both penalties and Munster ended the half with 14 men after referee Leo Colgan lost patience with Munster not rolling away and sent Dave Sherry to the bin.
Munster: D Riordan; C O'Boyle, D Barnes, T Gleeson, R O'Mahony (S Scanlon 51 mins); D Cusack, P Rowley (C Murray 50 min); D Ryan, S Henry (D Varley 50 mins), S Archer; E Kelly (UL Bohs), D Foley; D Sherry (B Holland 60 mins), E Grace, P O'Mahony capt. Replacements: , Pa O'Regan, , T O'Donnell, , M Kelliher (Richmond), , S Duggan (Shannon), I Dineen (UCC).
Connacht: T O'Halloran; F Gormley, B Touhy, A Wynne, C O'Loughlin; M Nicora, A Kennedy; C Higgins, D Murphy, J Hagan; L Scahill, S Casey; E McKeon, J O'Connor, M McComish capt. Replacements: A Flavin, J Robinson, J Moran, M Dolan, D Clarke, C Murphy, C Conroy.