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Super display in Cardiff as Munster see off challenge of the Blues

Guinness PRO14 Championship:
Cardiff Blues 23, Munster 33
GIVING a display to be proud of, Munster inflicted a ten point defeat on the Blues tonight in Cardiff. On a night when the difference between the sides was evident, Munster were faster, better organised in defence and clinical going forward and the outcome was obvious going into the final quarter when the reds scored two unanswered tries.
There were some outstanding performances tonight from Munster with Shane Daly rock solid, apart from one first half spill; two-try Alby Mathewson (pictured) very impressive and man of the match JJ Hanrahan also in good form. Kevin O’Byrne is certainly in terrific form and could be putting his hand up for international call-up if he continues to impress.
With 17 minutes played Cardiff led 6-3, their scores coming from two penalties from the boot of out-half Jarrad Evans. Sandwiched between was a penalty by JJ Hanrahan in front of the posts but it was from the re-start that the Blues were awarded a penalty, Arno Botha penalised for holding on near his 22 and Jarrad Evans kicked the three points,
The number eight made up for his error a few minutes later, finding a hole in the Cardiff defence and bringing play within five metres of the home line. Carries by Wooton and Darren O’Shea set up a first try, Chris Cloete scoring with 15 minutes played and JJ Hanrahan’s conversion put Munster in front for the first time at 6-10 after 15 minutes.
A well rehearsed short lineout by Munster saw Kevin O’Byrne race clear, Cardiff were penalised at the ruck and JJ Hanrahan belted the ball over for another three points for the visitors to increase their lead to 6-13. Right on the stroke of half time Munster were caught napping. Cardiff attacked off a set-piece close to their line and loose head Corey Domachowski put the shoulder down and charged over with Jarrod Evans levelling it at half time 13-13.
Munster brought in Rory Scannell for the second half and eight minutes into the second 40 Cardiff went back into the lead with a third penalty from Jarrad Evans. Munster’s reply was immediate, the impressive Kevin O’Byrne blazing through the Cardiff cover and Alby Mathewson was at hand to touch down with Hanrahan’s conversion putting Munster 16-20 in front with 30 minutes remaining.
An electrifying run by Matthew Morgan had the home crowd on their feet but the move broke down a few metres from the try line as the Blues came in search of a second try. It was Munster who got the next score, Calvin Nash dotting down after Rory Scannell glided through the Blues’ defence. The visitors scored another try on 60 minutes, JJ Hanrahan this time exposing the poor defensive quality of the opposition and Dan Goggin sent Mathewson in for his second try which Hanrahan converted.
16-30 ahead, Munster emptied the bench with the home attendance not at all impressed with the performance of their favourites.JJ Hanrahan popped over another three points before former Munster player Nick Williams scored a try for the Blues at the end, converted by Tovey. It really didn’t matter with just two minutes remaining.Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Jason Harries, Rey Lee-Lo, Garyn Smith, Aled Summerhill; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams (capt), Liam Belcher, Scott Andrews, Josh Turnbull, Rory Thornton, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Olly Robinson, Will Boyde.
Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Keiron Assiratti, Seb Davies, Nick Williams, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Willis Halaholo.
Munster: Shane Daly; Calvin Nash, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson; Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne, Keynan Knox; Fineen Wycherley, Darren O’Shea; Jack O’Donoghue (C), Chris Cloete, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Liam O’Connor, Stephen Archer, Jed Holloway, Conor Oliver, Nick McCarthy, Tyler Bleyendaal, Rory Scannell.
Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU), Assistants: Dan Jones (WRU); Richard Brace (WRU), TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU).
Scorers, Cardiff, Jarrod Evans two penalties and a conversion; try Corey Domachowski. Munster, two penalties and a conversion JJ Hanrahan; try Chris Cloete.

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