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Tries flow in as Munster enjoy runaway win over the Dragons

Guinness PRO14 Championship
Munster 49, Dragons 6
FIVE second half tries on the back of two in the first half, ensured Munster a bonus point victory and a welcome return to form against a poor Welsh side in Independent Park in Cork tonight.
It was 14-3 at half time, the visitors brought the score back to 14-6 with an Andrew O’Brien penalty five minutes after the re-start but after that it was one-way traffic as Munster’s power, fitness and hunger completely devoured the Dragons.
The tries flowed in by Leeside with Robin Copeland setting up Jack O’Donoghue for the third try, Darren Sweetnam finishing off a fine piece of running rugby for the bonus point try, Sam Arnold then chipped in with two tries with Kevin O’Byrne getting the ball down at the tail of a maul for try number seven.
Man of the match JJ Hanrahan was in rare form, dictating play from the number ten position and kicking all of the seven conversions, three of them close to the touchline.
Considering the inexperience of the opposition, Rassie must have been a little disappointed with his side’s first half performance. Munster conceded just one scrum and four penalties to the visitors in the entire first 40 minutes, their pack dominated, they had the bulk of possession but had to wait for 21 minutes before Sweetnam and Zebo combined and Rory Scannell slid in for the opening try of the game, converted by JJ Hanrahan (pictured) for a 7-0 lead.
The Dragons replied three minutes later, Munster guilty of a generous penalty gift which was converted by Andrew O’Brien to put just four points between the sides at 7-3.
It was all Munster from there to the break and the home side got just reward with a second try on 29 minutes. Jack O’Donoghue broke from the back of a drive, Zebo was quickly up in support and the full-back, who had the option of a free Alex Wooton outside him, dived over with Hanrahan again accurate from the tee for a 14-3 lead.
Next up for Munster after a three week break and the installation of the new coach Johaan Graan, is a trip to Italy to play Zebre, a visit of the Ospreys to Cork followed by the European Champions Cup back to back games against Leicester Tigers.
A few players put their hands up for notice from the new coach, particularly Robin Copeland, who had a great 80 minutes, Hanrahan and debut boy Chris Cloete.
Munster: Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, Duncan Williams; Liam O’Connor, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (C); Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete, Robin Copeland.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Brian Scott, Darren O’Shea, Mark Flanagan, James Hart, Ian Keatley, Sam Arnold.
Dragons: 15 Will Talbot-Davies, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Charlie Davies; 1 Thomas Davies, 2 Gerard Ellis, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 4 Joe Davies, 5 Rynard Landman, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 7 James Benjamin, 8 James Sheekey.
Replacements; Liam Belcher, Luke Garrett, Brok Harris, Scott Andrews, Ben Roach, Sarel Pretorius, Arwel Robson, Pat Howard.

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