Munster played some superb rugby to make it eight wins in 11 games after a convincing nine-try bonus-point win over Ospreys at Thomond Park on Friday night.
Gavin Coombes, Antoine Frisch, Malakai Fekitoa and Joey Carbery touched down in the first half with Coombes scoring two more after the break to complete his hat-trick as Paddy Patterson, Simon Zebo and Shane Daly also got on the scoresheet.
Coombes was named Player of the Match with Academy scrum-half Ethan Coughlan making a good impression off the bench on his first appearance of the season and home debut.
A depleted Ospreys side started well with Huw Sutton intercepting a pass to streak clear with Daly sin-binned for going off his feet at the breakdown.
Stephen Myler kicked the penalty as Ospreys moved 3-0 ahead with Munster down to 14 men.
A Carbery penalty moved Munster level and a superb inside pass from Jean Kleyn allowed Coombes race clear and score the first try.
Bradley Davies’ high tackle on Roman Salanoa in the lead-up saw the Ospreys lock sin-binned.
Fekitoa was in for the second try on 18 minutes as Frisch made a break on the left wing and sent his centre partner in to score.
Fekitoa turned provider for Frisch on 29 minutes as he offloaded for his centre partner to score after a lovely one-two.
Carbery was in for the bonus-point try on 37 minutes as he dummied a pass to Daly to glide over off first phase possession after a lineout.
Leading 27-3 at half-time, Munster kept up the tempo after the break and scored the fifth try within 43 seconds of the restart.
It took three defenders to take down John Hodnett on the left wing and he offloaded for Patterson to scamper clear and score.
We had to rejig our backline when Liam Coombes limped off with an injury as Ben Healy came on at out-half with Carbery moving to full-back and Shane Daly moved to the wing.
Coombes was in for his second of the night on 52 minutes, Munster’s sixth, after a Niall Scannell break off the back of a lineout.
Fekitoa was held up on 61 minutes but Zebo wasn’t to be denied a minute later off an inside pass from Daly with Zebo fending off Morris to score in the right corner.
Daly scored the eighth Munster try on 68 minutes after another well-worked move with Diarmuid Barron setting up the score with an accurate reverse pass off the back of a lineout.
Carbery converted to make it 51-3 before brilliant speed from Barron helped prevent a breakaway Ospreys try after Jack Walsh hacked clear.
Munster kept up the pressure for the full 80 with the replacements making a positive impact and Coombes had the final say as he completed his hat-trick with one minute to go as he scored from close range.
URC Round 14 Round-Up
Munster are up to fifth in the table ahead of the weekend’s action elsewhere.
Player of the Match Gavin Coombes’ hat-trick made it 32 tries in 65 appearances for the Skibbereen man.
Academy scrum-half Ethan Coughlan made his first appearance of the season and his home debut as a replacement.
Jack O’Donoghue (calf) and Liam Coombes (hamstring) will both be assessed by the medical department.
Munster: Shane Daly; Liam Coombes (inj, Ben Healy, 52), Antoine Frisch (Rory Scannell, 58), Malakai Fekitoa, Simon Zebo; Joey Carbery, Paddy Patterson (Ethan Coughlan, 50); Josh Wycherley (Mark Donnelly, 67), Niall Scannell (Diarmuid Barron, 56), Roman Salanoa (Stephen Archer, 64); Jean Kleyn (Alex Kendellen, 56), Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C) (inj, Jack O’Sullivan, 30), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.