Two thousand and five hundred rugby fans turned up at a glacial Thomond Park to watch their heroes in action. And it has to be said, amidst all the bad weather the home team really tried to put on a show for their fans, by running in no less than 7 uncontested tries.
The scoring started early for Munster with the red army appling immediate pressure to the Caerphilly line. In the 3rd minute Munster's Mick O'Driscoll won a line-out close to the Caerphilly line which allowed Munster an opportunity to drive Frankie Sheahan over for 5 points. Unfortunately the conditions did not help O'Gara get off to a good kicking start and he sent the conversion wide. 5 - 0.
It was not long before Munster were to break the Caerphilly defence, in the 9th minute a pop from Ronan O'Gara to Mike Mullins, gave Mullins a gap and allowed him to barge his way past the Caerphilly defence and over the line for a another try (10-0), again O'Gara just sent the conversion wide. Even though Caerphilly were battling away, they were always on the back foot, and in the 18th minute a complicated back-row move with captain Anthony Foley playing a big part, allowed Alan Quinlan a gap to dive over the Caerphilly line once more. At last a kick went right for O'Gara and he converted to give Munster a 17-0 lead.
Both teams had players sin-binned after 27 minutes, when scrum-half Peter Stringer made a good break inside the visitor's 22, only to be stopped on their line and clash with Caerphilly flanker Joel El Abd at the base of a ruck.
In the first half Caerphilly rarely ventured into Munster territory, but at one stage No.8 Andrew Williams did make a break for the Munster line from halway, and managed to chip past Dominic Crotty, but Munster's Jason Holland was there to chase down and avert any danger. The first half ended Munster 17 Caerphilly 0.
The second brought more rain and cold but little action to begin, it was not until the 54th minute that Mick Galwey earned Munster a bonus point following good pressure by Munster which allowed "Gaillamh" to touch down for a try which O'Gara again converts (24-0). In the 60th minute Munster were awarded a penaltyon the Caerphilly 22, which O'Gara opted to kick to touch, the line-out ball found Mick O'Driscoll and Munster drove over the line with prop Marcus Horan arising as try scorer. The conversion by O'Gara was just short of the post, but Munster already had a commanding lead. Munster 29 Caerphilly 0.
Munster contiued to dominate the game, and Caerphilly never really looked as if they would crack the Munster defence. In the 70th minute, Munster were very unlucky not to score following excellent pressure on the Caerphilly line, Mike Mullins made numerous attacks on the oppositions defence but ended up getting into a little frackes which Munster got a penalty out of. O'Gara mad a lovely kick accross field and over the Caerphilly line, Munster's John Kelly was unlucky with the bounce and couldnt manage the try. Munster still had some magic to play, and managed to run in another two tries and make one conversion. The tries came in the closing minutes, the first (or really 6th!) by Mick O'Driscoll who had his moment of glory which O'Gara converted and Munster's seventh and final try by full back Dominic Crotty who weaved his way through the Caerphilly defence to leave the final score Munster 41 Caerphilly 0.
Munster 41: Tries: Frankie Sheahan, Mike Mullins, Alan Quinlan, Mick Galwey, Marcus Horan, Mick O'Driscoll, Dominic Crotty. Cons: O'Gara 3
Dominic Crotty; John Kelly, Mike Mullins, Jason Holland, Mossie Lawlor; Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Frankie Sheahan, John Hayes, Mick Galwey, Mick O'Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, Denis Leamy, A Foley (Capt.).
Replacements: James Blaney, Simon Kerr, Eddie Halvey, Peter Malone, Mike Prendergast, John O'Neill, Killian Keane.
Sione Tuipolutu, Ryan Howells, Sam Cox, Roddy Boobyer, Taunaholo Taufahema, Jarrod Murphy, Scott Headington, Lee Manning, Christian Ferris (Capt.) Richard Skuse, Mark Workman, Nic Rouse, Karl Hocking, Joe El-Abd, Andrew Williams.
Replacements: Fionn McLoughlin, Owain Ashman, Steve Goddard, Paul Jones, Geraint Liddon, Gareth Williams, Rhys Loyd.