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Munster back to Winning Ways
11 November 2003, 10:21 pm
Munster scored five tries in Musgrave Park on Friday night to get their third Celtic League win in four games as they defeated the Cardiff Blues 31-10.
Munster scored five tries in Musgrave Park on Friday night to get their third Celtic League win in four games as they defeated the Cardiff Blues 31-10. Frankie Sheahan scored two of his side's four tries as Munster were bolstered by the return of nine Irish internationals. Munster opted out of several early sightings of the Cardiff posts and instead to chose to pummel the touchline through returning out-half Ronan O'Gara. After 11 minutes the Welsh line was crossed as Munster's third line-out in quick succession saw Donnacha O'Callaghan grasp possession and hooker Sheahan rumble over from close range. O'Gara went left with the conversion and Munster turned the screw, with the visiting scrum under pressure and offering up penalty after penalty. Cardiff wing Tom Shanklin and Munster prop Marcus Horan were both sin-binned for separate infringements by Scottish official Iain Ramage before the half hour. South African wing Shaun Payne deservedly crossed for Munster's second try after 34 minutes, when a pick and drive by David Wallace saw O'Gara transfer wide and centre Jason Holland loop a one-handed pass cleverly for Payne to glide over under the challenge of full-back Rhys Williams. Centre Mike Mullins followed up his own chip to touch down his fifth try of the competition close to the Cardiff posts three minutes later and O'Gara kicked the home side into a 17-0 lead. Blues out-half Iestyn Harris cut the deficit with a penalty on the stroke of half-time. Cardiff plodded on with Harris, Heino Senekal and Canadian Dan Baugh always presenting, but the home side held too much in reserve with Sheahan notching his second try of the night after 54 minutes, once more on the end of a powerful maul from 10 metres out. A penalty try 10 minutes later, awarded as the Blues sought to bring down a rampant Munster drive close to their line, put four converted tries between the sides, with O'Gara kicking the extra points.

Cardiff centre Jamie Robinson got a consolation score six minutes from time but a late rally could not prevent a fifth loss from five away trips this season for David Young's side.

Final Score: Munster 31 Cardiff Blues 10


Munster Tries: Sheahan 2, Payne, Mullins, Penalty try; Con: O'Gara 3;


Try: J Robinson; Con: Harris: Pen: Harris



J Staunton; M Lawlor, M Mullins, J Holland, S Payne; R O'Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, F Sheahan, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell, J Williams (capt), D Wallace, A Foley.

Replacements: S Kerr, J Flanery, T Hogan, C McMahon, E Reddan, R Henderson, M McPhail, D Crotty.


R Williams; T Shanklin, J Robinson, M Allen, C Morgan; I Harris, R Powell; J Yapp, G Williams, D Crompton, H Senekal, A Moore, D Baugh, N Thomas, M Williams (capt).

Replacements: B Evans, A Lewis, C Quinnell, J Brownrigg, A Moore, N Robinson, D van Vuuren.

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