Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Arno Botha, Alby Mathewson, JJ Hanrahan, Sammy Arnold.
Player Update: Niall Scannell was not available having picked up a knock in training during the week.
Report | Bonus-Point Win Over Gloucester At Thomond
October 20, 20183:29 pmBy The Editor
Sammy Arnold celebrates scoring with Joey Carbery.
Munster secured a bonus-point win over Gloucester at Thomond Park on Saturday afternoon to move top of Champions Cup Pool 2.
Mike Haley scored his first try for Munster with Rhys Marshall, Man of the Match Joey Carbery, Sammy Arnold and Andrew Conway also touching down with Carbery kicking four conversions and a penalty.
Munster had a one-man advantage for the majority of the clash with Gloucester’s Danny Cipriani sent off for a high tackle on Rory Scannell just short of the half hour.
A crowd of 23,068 attended the clash, the highest attendance so far in this season’s Champions Cup.
A strong Gloucester start saw the hosts control much of the opening quarter with a dangerous Gloucester rolling maul nearly leading to the opening score.
A yellow card for Gloucester lock Tom Savage after 16 minutes for an illegal clearout on Dan Goggin gave Munster the chance to finally gain a foothold.
Excellent work from the pack put Munster in position with CJ Stander making a number of carries. Sweetnam was then released up the right flank and he found Duncan Williams inside but the scrum-half was tackled five metres short of the line.
Munster stayed patient and went through the phases working the ball right with good hands from Sweetnam and Andrew Conway putting Haley away to score in the right corner.
Gloucester hit back almost immediately through a long-range Cipriani penalty after 24 minutes to cut the gap to two points.
It was to be one of the final contributions from the Gloucester out-half as he was shown red for a high tackle on Rory Scannell moments later. Carbery made it 8-3 from the subsequent penalty and Munster led 8-3 with half an hour played.
The hosts clinically took advantage of the extra man with Marshall scoring off a superb rolling maul with Carbery’s conversion giving Munster a 15-3 half-time lead.
Munster needed to keep their foot on the peddle in the second half and the bonus point was wrapped up by the 56th minute. A Haley break from deep set Munster away with excellent hands from Kevin O’Byrne putting Beirne into space.
The lock showed excellent speed and a chip over the top, not often seen by a second row forward, ended with Gloucester touching down for a 22 drop-out.
Munster kept up the pressure and after a Gloucester lineout went awry, Munster went left off the five-metre scrum with Alby Mathewson finding Dan Goggin. His pass out the back for Carbery saw the out-half dummy and dive over to score and his conversion gave Munster a 22-3 lead with just less than half an hour to play.
Sammy Arnold was over for his first Champions Cup try on 56 minutes as the replacement sliced through the Gloucester defence with Carbery providing the telling pass.
Gloucester kept going and were rewarded with a 64th minute try through former Munster man Gerbrandt Grobler after a strong rolling maul with the lock crossing from close range.
Billy Twelvetrees converted and the Munster lead was cut to 19 points with 16 minutes remaining.
Munster finished off the game as a contest with their fifth try through Conway after excellent work from Dan Goggin and a deft Carbery pass as the score moved Munster 36-10 in front.
Gloucester sniffed a four-try bonus-point when their 14 men crossed for a second try after 69 minutes with full-back Jason Woodward scoring in the left corner.
Munster were under serious pressure for much of the final 10 minutes and Arnold was shown a yellow card after he knocked on when looking to intercept a Gloucester pass.
Ben Morgan crossed for a late try with Twelvetrees converting before Stephen Archer was shown a yellow card in the final minute as Munster secured a 36-22 victory.
Champions Cup Round 2 Round-Up
The bonus-point win sees Munster top Pool 2 after two rounds after Exeter Chiefs were beaten by Castres Olympique in France.
Tommy O’Donnell, Rhys Marshall and Dan Goggin all left the field with injuries and will be assessed by the medical team.
Joey Carbery was awarded Man of the Match on his first Champions Cup appearance at Thomond Park.
Sammy Arnold scored his first Champions Cup try.
Munster: Mike Haley (JJ Hanrahan, 68); Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell (Sammy Arnold, 48), Darren Sweetnam; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams (Alby Mathewson, 48); James Cronin (Dave Kilcoyne, 48), Rhys Marshall (Kevin O’Byrne, h-t), John Ryan (Stephen Archer, 58); Jean Kleyn (Billy Holland, 61), Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell (inj Arno Botha, 37), CJ Stander.
Video | Andrew Conway Post-Match Interview
Next Home Game
Saturday, October 27
Guinness PRO14: Munster v Glasgow Warriors, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here