Munster 36-22 Gloucester
Munster capitalised on Danny Cipriani’s dismissal to claim a five-try bonus-point win over Gloucester in the Champions Cup match at Thomond Park.
Fly-half Cipriani was sent off for going in high on Rory Scannell with less than half an hour played. Mike Haley and Rhys Marshall touched down for the hosts in the first half. Joey Carbery, Sam Arnold and Andrew Conway added second-half tries with Gerbrandt Grobler, Jason Woodward and Ben Morgan going over for Gloucester.
Munster, who ended the match with 13 men after two late yellow cards, move to the top of Pool Two, two points ahead of Castres who beat Exeter on Saturday.
Gloucester went into the match on the back of a heartening 19-14 home win over Castres and made a promising start. Such was their confidence, the visitors turned down a kickable penalty in the hope of getting a try from a line-out. But it was Munster, whose last European triumph was back in 2008, who made the breakthrough when full-back Haley finished in the right-hand corner. Cipriani’s 29th-minute red card followed a high challenge on Munster centre Rory Scannell
Cipriani’s 29th-minute red card followed a high challenge on Munster centre Rory Scannell. Cipriani landed a 25th-minute penalty to peg it back to 5-3, but four minutes later the 30-year-old fly-half’s afternoon was ended by that red card.
The big-name fly-half seemed resigned to his fate before referee Alexandre Ruiz produced the red card and signalled an apology on his way off. Carbery slotted over the penalty and then Marshall scored Munster’s second try from a rolling maul after an uncontested line-out. Munster turned it on early in the second period, Carbery darting over and converting his own try for 22-3 before replacement back Arnold found a great line to secure the bonus-point score. Gloucester may have left Limerick empty-handed, but they did not go down without a fight. The game Cherry and Whites registered their first try when former Munster player Grobler got over from close-range. Fly-half Joey Carbery scored one of Munster’s five tries and was named man of the match. And although Conway got Munster’s fifth touchdown, it was the visitors who ended on a high with tries by Woodward and Morgan. Munster try-scorer Arnold got a yellow card in the 88th minute for a deliberate knock-on and in the final minute team-mate Stephen Archer was sin-binned for a high challenge.
It meant a total of four cards in the match, Gloucester having had lock Tom Savage sin-binned in the opening quarter.
Munster:Haley, Conway, Goggin, R. Scannell, Sweetnam, Carbery, Williams, J. Cronin, Marshall, Ryan, Kleyn, Beirne, P. O’Mahony, O’Donnell, Stander.
Replacements: Hanrahan for Haley (68), Arnold for R. Scannell (48), Mathewson for Williams (48), Kilcoyne for J. Cronin (48), O’Byrne for Marshall (41), Archer for Ryan (59), Holland for Kleyn (61).
Gloucester: Woodward, Banahan, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Marshall, Cipriani, Braley, Rapava Ruskin, Marais, Hohneck, Savage, Slater, Clarke, Polledri, Morgan.
Replacements: Williams for Atkinson (63), Hudson for Marshall (45), Vellacott for Braley (53), Knight for Rapava Ruskin (64), Grobler for Slater (53), G. Evans for Clarke (61).