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Munster make a winning exit from Europe

European Champions Cup, Pool 4:
Treviso 5, Munster 28
PLAYED in Stadio Comunale di Monigo, today’s game of insignificance was always going to have a tinge of sadness about it for Munster supporters but at least there was some consolation with the reds winning their third game in Pool 4 with some ease.
It was not all one-way traffic with the Italians having their moments in both halves but failing to convert decent chances into scores. Missing three attempts at the posts did not help Treviso but the Munster camp will not be happy with the push over try that their side conceded before half time.
It was a good day’s work for Garryowen’s Ronan O’Mahony who notched a brace of tries while his light blue colleague Conor Murray also dotted down over the try line. Keith Earls took up where he left off with his fine performance against Stade Francais the previous week and there was never any doubt that Munster were going to win this game.
They started well and were 7-0 up with four minutes played. It was the result of a familiar formula: penalty to Munster, kick to the corner, lineout ball and Ronan O’Mahony scampered over. Keatley added the conversion.
The visitors should have increased their lead on eight minutes, Tommy O’Donnell’s pass ruled forward and Treviso missed a chance to get their first score when James Ambrosini missed from 25 metres. Munster responded with a try from Dave Kilcoyne with 16 minutes gone and Keatley’s conversion increased the lead to 14-0. Treviso missed their second attempt at the posts with 28 minutes played, his kick again drifting wide but with Billy Holland in the sin-bin the Italians got what was to be their only score of the game,l Marco Lazzaroni getting on the end of a fine drive by the pack. Their poor kicking continued with Jayden Hayward this time failing from the kicking tee. Half time, Treviso 5, Munster 14.
The reds needed an early score to put this result to bed but when CJ Stander went over and Keatley was preparing to kick the conversion, the intervention of the TMO saw the referee’s decision overruled.
A fine solo run and try from Conor Murray and conversion by Keatley set up a late rally for the bonus point fourth try which came with 14 minutes left. Replacement Jack O’Donoghue made a brilliant break in midfield and his wide pass sent Ronan O’Mahony in for his second try of the game with Keatley landing the conversion to seal the win.
It was not the perfect display by Munster. They struggled with the Treviso maul at times and were driven back at the put-in on a few occasions. Most of their attacks came when they threw the ball out wide with Earls, Saili and O’Mahony showing great pace.
Now it’s back to the Pro 12 League for the province with European glory hopes squashed for the second season in a row while in the hands of the current management team. Qualifying for the semi-finals of the league and also assuring themselves of Champions Cup rugby next season remains the main goal of Anthony Foley during the next four months.
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France), Assistant ref: Cedric Marchat (France), Assistant ref: Tual Trainini (France), TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France), Citing Commissioner: Iain Goodall (Scotland)
Benetton Treviso: Jayden Hayward; Andrea Pratichetti, Enrico Bacchin, Alberto Sgarbi, Simone Ragusi; James Ambrosini, Alberto Lucchese; Matteo Zanusso, Ornel Gega, Simone Ferrari, Marco Fuser, Jean-François Montauriol, Marco Lazzaroni, Alessandro Zanni (c), Abraham Jurgens Steyn
Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Andrea De Marchi, Salesi Manu, Tom Palmer, Marco Barbini, Tommaso Iannone, Samuel Christie, Luke McLean
Munster Rugby: Simon Zebo; Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, John Ryan, Dave Foley, Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander (c)
Replacements: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, Mario Sagario, Robin Copeland, Mark Chisholm, Jack O’Donoghue, Tomas O’Leary, Gerhard van den Heever

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