In the opening minutes Gloucester were first to attack with Dan Robson opting for the kick and chase down the right wing but Ian Keatley did well to sprint back and deny an early score for the home-side.
Munster powered back with a dominant scrum on the half-way mark and Keatley kicked for territory. From the Munster lineout Conor Murray put boot to ball with Johne Murphy chasing, but Gloucester winger Charlie Sharples was on hand to claim the bounce and was quick to counter-attack advancing back into Munster's half.
Referee Leighton Hodges awarded a penalty to the home-side but Billy Twelvetrees missed with his opening chance after 10 minutes.
Keatley returned with a cross field kick which released Earls sprinting down the touchline but fullback Martyn Thomas was quick to react and Earls bundled him straight into touch for the lineout. The resulting pressure led to an opening penalty chance and the out-half kicked Munster's first points after 20 minutes.
Two minutes later Gloucester were awarded their second penalty chance when Munster were pinged for not releasing but the England centre was once again off target and Munster still led by 3.
The Gloucester line was finally broken after a period of Munster pressure with Keatley again involved. He dinked a grubber kick through the English side's defence and this time Keith Earls pounced on it. With the extras added Munster led 10 nil after 32 minutes.
The high speed tempo continued and Gloucester took advantage when Munster failed to ship the ball in the closing stages of the opening half. The half-time margin was reduced to 3 points when Charlie Sharples weaved his way through the Munster defence and Freddie Burns added the conversion.
Gloucester opened the second half in a similar vein to the opening half, sending waves of attack at Munster's line. They continued with their attacking form and sought to batter the Munster line with physicality and direct running. But Munster sustained the pressure and continued to turnover possession with the choke tackle working particularly well, and the Munster wingers bundling Gloucester attackers into touch at crucial times.
Peter O'Mahony and Paul O'Connell inspired an immense performance from the pack, whose work rate never faltered despite a frenetic pace. The pack were rewarded with some great pressure on Gloucester's set piece at 58 minutes, releasing Conor Murray with a great break deep into Gloucester territory.
The pack once again built the phases and it was captain Peter O'Mahony who dived over for Munster's second try, the TMO confirming the score with Keatley adding the extras to give Munster a ten point cushion going into the final 20 minutes.
With 10 minutes remaining Keatley added the final score when kicking his 2nd penalty after a Gloucester infringement. Rob Penney capped the win by emptying the bench in the final minutes, including a return to action for Simon Zebo for the first time since October.
Munster: Felix Jones; Keith Earls (JJ Hanrahan 70), Casey Laulala, James Downey, Johne Murphy (Simon Zebo 68); Ian Keatley, Conor Murray (Duncan Williams 76); Dave Kilcoyne (James Cronin 64), Damien Varley (Duncan Casey 78), BJ Botha (Stephen Archer 68); Dave Foley (Donncha O'Callaghan 68), Paul O'Connell; Peter O'Mahony Capt. (CJ Stander 76), Tommy O'Donnell, James Coughlan.
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