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Munster march on towards another home Heineken Cup quarter final

(A happy Johann van Graan watches from the stand tonight)
Gloucester 15, Munster 41
THE writing was on the wall for the home side after 42 minutes of playing time in Kingsholm tonight. Munster gave a copybook performance of attacking away cup rugby with a tactically-perfect, disciplined and powerful display that was thrilling to watch. They trailed to a Danny Cipriani penalty after 13 minutes but this was cancelled out when Munster forward pressure was rewarded with a Joey Carbery three pointer five minutes later to level the tie at 3-3. Carbery went on to give a majestic performance in the red shirt.
After that, Munster took over. They were lethal at the breakdown, put the frighteners on the Gloucester eight at lineout time and with O’Mahony and Beirne snatching crucial steals, the home set-piece had become a shambles. Add in a number of knock-ons from from Murray’s aerial bombardment, particularly by full-back Tom Hudson, which did little for Gloucester confidence.
More pressure up front brought Munster’s next score, Joey Carbery scampering over close to the posts courtesy to a clever dummy run from Jean Klein, and the out-half’s conversion putting the visitors 3-10 to the good with 23 minutes gone.
Yard-gaining drives from Stander and Kilcoyne resulted in another Munster penalty and Carbery obliged to bring the lead to 3-13 and it was 3-20 in favour of the Irish province on 42 minutes when Rory Scannell got on the end of 20-plus phases to touchdown and Carbery banged over the easy conversion.
There was a hint of a Gloucester revival as the second half got under way and after lengthy pressure near the Munster line, prop Fraser Balmain got over for a try but the conversion was missed by Twelvetrees. The home side needed another quick score to retain the momentum but it was Munster who scored next, Billy Holland (who replace the injured Peter O’Mahony soon after the break) putting Keith Earls over and Carbery pushing the lead to make it 8-27 on 57 minutes. Andrew Conway was then denied a try by the TMO for a Chris Farrell forward pass before left wing Ollie Thorley went over at the other end, Twelvetrees converted and it was 15-27 with 17 minutes remaining.
Munster secured the winning bonus point on 65 minutes, a clever Carbery grubber kick picked up by Conway and the Munster number ten capped a man of the match display, intercepting a midfield pass to run all the way to the posts, his two conversions giving his side a remarkable 15-41 away victory and a possible ticket to a home quarter final, which would be their 18th in 24 seasons.
Gloucester: 15. Tom Hudson, 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Callum Braley, 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Henry Walker, 3. Fraser Balmain, 4. Ed Slater, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 6. Franco Mostert, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ben Morgan (c).
Replacements: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Gareth Evans, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Henry Trinder,
Munster: 15. Mike Haley, 14. Andrew Conway, 13. Chris Farrell, 12. Rory Scannell, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Joey Carbery, 9. Conor Murray, 1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. Stephen Archer, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 6. Peter O’Mahony (c), 7. Tommy O’Donnell, 8. CJ Stander.
Replacements: 16. Rhys Marshall, 17. Jeremy Loughman, 18. John Ryan, 19. Billy Holland, 20. Arno Botha, 21. Alby Mathewson, 22. Tyler Bleyendaal, 23. Dan Goggin.
Referee, Alain Poite, France.

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