Munster 24-9 Connacht

Munster's Keith Earls moves in to challenge Connacht's Johnny O'Connor
Munster's Keith Earls moves in to challenge Johnny O'Connor of Connacht

John Hayes finished his Munster career with a win as Connacht fell to defeat at Thomond Park.

After 14 years with the province and an enviable collection of European and domestic medals, it was a fitting send-off for the long-serving tight-head.

First half tries from debutant full-back Sean Scanlon and Tomas O'Leary set gave Munster an 18-3 interval lead.

Ian Keatley's boot accounted for the rest of Munster's points with Niall O'Connor kicking Connacht's scores.

The first try came after Paddy Butler blocked a pass in midfield and Munster swarmed out to the right where Keith Earls put Luke O'Dea into space and his neat delivery sent Scanlon over unopposed.

O'Leary struck for the second try five minutes before the break.

The Ireland scrum-half gobbled up Ethienne Reynecke's throw to the back of a line-out and launched a kick chase into the left corner.

Fetu'u Vainikolo was first on the scene but he could not get a grasp of the bouncing ball, leaving O'Leary to snipe in for the score.

Munster: Scanlon, O'Dea, Earls, Barnes, Zebo, Keatley, O'Leary, Horan, Fogarty, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, O'Driscoll, B Holland, Ronan, Butler.

Replacements: Gleeson for Zebo (77), Deasy for Keatley (77), Williams for O'Leary (64), Kilcoyne for Horan (69), Henry for Fogarty (75), Botha for J Hayes (59), Nagle for O'Driscoll (75), Coughlan for Butler (62).

Connacht: Duffy, Vainikolo, Griffin, McSharry, O'Halloran, N. O'Connor, F. Murphy, Wilkinson, Reynecke, Loughney, Naoupu, McCarthy, Gannon, J O'Connor, Muldoon, Kearney.

Replacements: Tonetti for McSharry (41), Jarvis for N O'Connor (64), O'Donohoe for F Murphy (58), Flavin for Reynecke (67), Ah You for Loughney (64), Kearney for Gannon (53), McKeown for Kearney (77).

Not used: Rogers.

Ref: Dudley Phillips (RFU).