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Dragons cave-in under the power of Munster

By the Editor
(Above, Robin Copeland scored Munster’s opening try)

Dragons 12, Munster 38
The Dragons went into this Guinness Pro 12 League fixture with a lot to prove and they led Munster at the break 9-7. The Welsh side got the perfect start with Rhys Jones making up for a miss on three minutes to split the posts two minutes later from a close-in penalty kick.
Munster’s response was predictable, Robin Copeland showing strength to get over and Ian Keatley adding the conversion to give the reds a 3-7 lead with 14 minutes gone on the clock.
Four minutes later it was 6-7 with Jones landing his second penalty and he added a third eight minutes before the break to give the Newport Gwent outfit a narrow 9-7 lead.
Munster turned up the heat as the second period kicked off and Ian Keatley put them a point ahead with a penalty on 43 minutes. Duncan Casey then got in for a try which Keatley converted and the Irish province was in command at 9-17 after a blistering seven minutes that reap three scores.
The scoreline looked even healthier for Munster with 62 minutes gone, centre Andrew Smith scoring a fine try, again converted by Keatley as his side increased their advantage to 15 points. Rhys Jones kept the Dragons in touch with a penalty three minutes later but they were finally slain by a second try from hooker Duncan Casey as the visitors snatched a winning bonus point that they fully deserved. Keatley’s conversion pushed Foley’s fifteen 31-12 and his smiles were that of a very happy coach indeed.
To finish off a terrific performance, Garryowen’s Ronan O’Mahony got in for try number five, Keatley converted and that more or less finished a dismal night for the Welsh.
No Peter O’Mahony, no O’Connell, no Murray, no Kilcoyne, no Dave Foley, no Felix Jones, no Keith Earls, No Damian Varley and no stopping this swashbuckling Munster team.
Next up a meeting with Ulster in Thomond Park on Friday night., Floodlights, a sea of red, another mouth-watering derby and a packed Thomond Park. Can’t wait for that one!

Munster: JJ Hanrahan; Andrew Conway, Andrew Smith, Denis Hurley, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Cathal Sheridan; John Ryan, Eusebio Guinazu, Stephen Archer; Donncha O’Callaghan, capt., Billy Holland; Paddy Butler, Sean Dougall, Robin Copeland.
Replacements: Duncan Casey, Alan Cotter, BJ Botha, Dave O’Callaghan, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, Pat Howard, Johne Murphy.

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