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Rampant Munster in try scoring mood against Sale

Munstet 63, Sale 10

A BUCKET of tries, emphatic bonus point victory but failing to qualify for the knock-out stages of the European Champions Cup still hung over Thomond Park today. Munster were in no mood to show mercy and after leading by just three points at the break, the reds cut loose mercilessly  with Zebo, Conway and Earls in particular cutting the Sale defence to bits. Joe  Schmidt will have been impressed and with Paul O’Connell showing admirable hunger for action, Peter O’Mahony back to his best and Tommy O’Donnell also contributing a high quality showing, international call-ups should be on their way to the Munster camp over the coming weeks.

There were a few rocky moments with Ian Keatley kicking an attacking penalty dead and a few knock-ons that were reminiscent of the Saracens defeat, but even allowing for the weaknesses in the Sale fifteen, Munster were on fire in a one-sided second 40 minutes. Keith Earls was called off soon after his brilliant try, but this was probably cautionary considering his long lay-off. JJ Hanrahan came on late in the game and landed a few conversions while another replacement, Pat Howard, also impressed.

The home side started in blazing fashion with Simon Zebo scoring a try after just 1 minute 40 seconds. Sale replied with a penalty from Luke Maclean but a Keatley penalty to add to his earlier conversion put the home side 13-3 to the good.
A try from wing Tom Arscott, converted by Macleod, set up an interesting second half.

With a lot of eyes on the Munster outside centre, Keith Earls showed his class with a spectacular try two minutes into the second half and Keatley’s easy conversion stretched the home lead to 20-10.

A penalty try converted by Keatley made it  27-10 on 54 minutes and further tries by Pat Howard and Simon Zebo, one converted stretched the lead to 39-10.

Zebo sent Conway over for a 44-10 lead, Tomny O’Donnell then got over with JJ Hanrahan adding the extras . . . 51-10. Next try came from Duncan Williams converted by JJ Hanrahan to bring the score to 58-10 and Zebo capped a super performance by setting up the last try for Andrew Conway again converted by Hanrahan.

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