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Munster pay the price of poor first half: settle for late bonus point

Guinness PRO14 Championship:
Cardiff Blues 25, Munster 18
MUNSTER had a dreadful start to today’s Guinness PRO14 game against Cardiff Blues in Wales, trailing 19-0 five minutes before the break. A catalogue of errors inflicted almost continuous pressure on the visitors and with Ian Keatley having an off-day with the boot and Duncan Williams gifting a try when his clearance wqs blocked down in a defensive position, the home side bagged three tries in that opening half.
Munster’s only response was a try from Chris Cloete with Keatley missing the conversion. The visitors set about their task of rescuing this game right from the re-start and Keatley knocked over a three pointer after four minutes to make it 19-8. The Reds kept up the heat and a try by the impressive Stephen Fitzgerald, converted by Ian Keatley, left just four points between the sides.
Coach Johaan Graan emptied the bench in an effort to put more fire into the attacks but the Blues snatched another three points from a penalty to make it 22-15 going into the final quarter. Another Cardiff penalty from Jarred Evans increased that lead to 25-15 but with the last play of the game, Tyler Bleyendaal (pictured) kept his cool to land a penalty that gave Munster a losing bonus point.
Cardiff Blues: Rhun Williams; Aled Summerhill, Garyn Smith, Rey Lee-Lo, Owen Lane; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Matthew Rees, Taufa’ao Filise, George Earle, Seb Davies, Macauley Cook, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams. Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rhys Gill, Dillon Lewis, Josh Turnbull, Olly Robinson, Tomos Williams, Steven Shingler, Ryan Edwards
Munster: Stephen Fitzgerald; Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Gerbrandt Grobler, Darren O’Shea; Jack O’Donoghue (capt), Chris Cloete, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Mike Sherry, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Dave O’Callaghan, James Hart, Tyler Bleyendaal, Simon Zebo.

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