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Hodnett shines in St Valentine’s Day massacre of the Kings

(Jack O’Donoghue continues to impress and starred again tonight)

Guinness PRO14 Championship:
Munster 68, Southern Kings 3
TEN tries, some outstanding individual performances and showing hurt and hunger after their exit from the Heineken European Cup, Munster slaughtered the Kings tonight and move into top position in their pool. The South Africans looked a decent outfit in the opening 20 minutes. An Arno Botha try after nine minutes, converted by JJ Hanrahan put the home side in front but the Kings fought back when a penalty from their out-half Stefan Ungerer reduced the margin to four points, 7-3 with 15 minutes played. That was to be the last score for the visitors.
Munster stepped up a gear, running in tries by Calvin Nash, another from Botha and a bonus point fourth try by the impressive Jack O’Donoghue. JJ Hanrahan kicked the four conversions for a 28-3 interval lead.
The pressure continued with the home side dominating at the scrum and in the loose and Hanrahan accurate with his kicking. John Hodnett marked his debut at this level with a super try on 49 minutres after a break by Mike Haley, Neil Cronin took a try scoring pass from Dan Goggin for try number six and with the Kings’ tiring tries from Shane Daly, Dan Goggin and second tries for Arno Both and Shane Daly, as well as three conversions by Ben Healy brought up the 68 point mark.
It will have been a St Valentine’s Night to forget for the South Africans and one must question how a team of this quality could suffer such a humiliating defeat at this level of rugby.
Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgian RU, Championship Debut)
AR1: Sean Gallagher (IRFU), AR2: Johnny Erskine (IRFU)
TMO: Charles Samson (SRU)
Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Neil Cronin; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (CAPT); Jack O’Donoghue, John Hodnett, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Jeremy Loughman, Keynan Knox, Gavin Coombes, Chris Cloete, Nick McCarthy, Ben Healy, Rory Scannell.
Isuzu Southern Kings: Andell Loubser, Christopher Hollis, Sibusiso Sithole, Erich Cronje, Edmund Ludick, Demetri Catrakilis, Stefan Ungerer; Schalk Ferreira, Jacques du Toit, Rossouw de Klerk, Jerry Sexton, JC Astle (CAPT), Lusanda Badiyana, Bobby de Wee, Ruaan Lerm.
Replacements: Alandre van Rooyen, Xandre Vos, Ignatius Prinsloo, Aston Fortuin, Thembelani Bholi, Luyolo Dapula, Josh Allderman, Courtney Winnaar.

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