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Super second half display gives in-form Munster sweet victory

Guinness PRO14 Championship
Cheetahs 17, Munster 19
IF head coach Johaan van Graan needed the perfect preparation for next week-end’s Champions Cup semi-final game against Racing 92, his side got it tonight.
The South Africans looked the better side when they raced into a 14-0 lead thanks to tries from Tian Meyer and conversions from Johan Goosen. Munster settled midway through that half and Conor Murray scored a try with his second touch of the ball after coming off the bench for the injured James Hart on 37 minutes, JJ Hanahran adding the conversion. Goosen added a penalty to give his side a 17-7 lead at the break.
The second half was a different story. The home side enjoyed limited time in the Munster red zone as the Irish province dominated matters up front. Three JJ Hanrahan penalties left just a single point between the sides at 17-16 and Conor Murray stepped up to snatch victory with a mighty penalty from 57 metres out that gave Munster a historic 17-19 win in Bloemfontein.
The Cheetahs fought hard in the dying minutes, had lengthy pressure in the Munster 22 but a superb scrum from the reds in the final play of a thrilling encounter, saw the referee whistle for a penalty and Keatley booted the ball out to the joy of the travelling support.
This was a terrific performance by Munster and one that will be noted by Ronan O’Gara’s Racing 92. Robin Copeland was outstanding throughout the game, making us wonder once again how Munster have left him go; JJ Hanrahan put his hand up for a start in Bordeaux while Grobler, O’Mahony, O’Donoghue and the six front-rows that were called up for duty helped to turn the game in favour of Johaan van Graan’s side.
A repeat of a this performance on Sunday week could see Munster reach their fifth final and herald an unprecedented demand for flights and tickets for Bilbao on May 12
Munster: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, James Hart; Brian Scott, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Gerbrandt Grobler, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Jack O’Donoghue, Robin Copeland.
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Dave O’Callaghan, Conor Oliver, Conor Murray, Ian Keatley, Rory Scannell.

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