Pro12: Munster 33-16 Cardiff Blues
|Munster (9) 33|
|Tries: Hurley, O'Donoghue, R O'Mahony Cons: Hanrahan 3 Pens: Hanrahan 4|
|Cardiff Blues (9) 16|
|Tries: Navidi Cons: Patchell Pens: Patchell 3|
Munster moved to the top of the Pro12 table as they produced a strong second-half display to beat the Blues in Cork.
The sides were level at 9-9 at half-time after JJ Hanrahan and Rhys Patchell both hit three penalties.
Tries from stand-in captain Denis Hurley and young back rower Jack O'Donoghue then helped Munster move into a 23-9 advantage.
Josh Navidi's try gave Cardiff hope but Ronan O'Mahony's late score sealed Munster's win.
A dose of flu saw Andrew Conway and Ian Keatley withdrawn from the Munster team before kick-off, with Luke O'Dea and Rory Scannell replacing them.
After Hanrahan slotted his second penalty chance to put Munster ahead, Cardiff threatened the home side's try line on a couple of occasions with the pressure yielding a couple of successful penalties for fly-half Patchell.
The Cardiff number 10's third penalty came after a Lloyd Williams pass was just ruled forward before Gavin Evans broke clear for the posts.
An offside call against Manoa Vosawai allowed Hanrahan to respond from the kicking tee and the Munster full-back levelled in the 39th minute after Macauley Cook had been caught offside.
Anthony Foley's side were much improved on the resumption, profiting from a more direct attack.
Centre Hurley burrowed his way over for a try after number eight O'Donoghue had bulldozed through off quick line-out ball.
Hanrahan supplied the extras for a 16-9 scoreline and it got even better for the home side on the hour mark as O'Donoghue notched a try after Hurley and Keith Earls had been involved in a tremendous length-of-the-field breakaway.
The Blues efforts deserved a try and Navidi delivered it, slipping through from a ruck in the 22 and holding off Darren Sweetnam to touch down.
Patchell converted to cut Munster's lead to 23-16 but Hanrahan extended the margin to 10 before his final pass put winger O'Mahony over for try number three.
Munster: JJ Hanrahan; Luke O'Dea, Keith Earls, Denis Hurley (capt), Ronan O'Mahony; Rory Scannell, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Eusebio Guinazu, BJ Botha; Donncha O'Callaghan, Billy Holland; Sean Dougall, Dave O'Callaghan, Jack O'Donoghue.
Replacements: Darren Sweetnam for O'Dea 66 mins, Iavan Dineen for Earls 63, Neil Cronin for Williams 76, Dave Kilcoyne for Ryan 48, Niall Scannell for Guinazu 70, Stephen Archer for Botha 65, Shane Buckley for Dougall 76, Paddy Butler for Dave O'Callaghan 63
Cardiff Blues: Joaquin Tuculet, Richard Smith, Cory Allen, Gavin Evans, Lucas Amorosino, Rhys Patchell, Lloyd Williams; Sam Hobbs, Matthew Rees (captain), Adam Jones, Macauley Cook, Filo Paulo, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Manoa Vosawai
Replacements: Tom Isaacs for G Evans 54, Tavis Knoyle for L Williams 57, Kristian Dacey for Rees 30, Taufa'ao Filise for A Jones 54, Ellis Jenkins for Vosawai 62
Not Used: Thomas Davies, Miles Normandale, Gareth Davies.
Referee: Lloyd Linton (SRU)
Assistant Referees: Andrew McMenemy, Duncan McClement (both SRU)
Citing Commissioner: Eddie Walsh (IRFU)
TMO: David Changleng (SRU)