Pro12: Munster 26-5 Newport Gwent Dragons
|Munster (12) 26|
|Tries: Kilcoyne 2, R Scannell, Cronin Cons: Keatley 2, J Holland|
|Newport Gwent Dragons (0) 5|
Munster boosted their play-off chances by moving above Edinburgh into fifth in the Pro12 table thanks to a bonus-point win over the Dragons at Thomond Park.
Tries by Dave Kilcoyne and Ronan Scannell helped the Irish province to a 12-0 half-time lead and Kilcoyne touched down again in the sceond half.
Hallam Amos crossed the line for the visitors but James Cronin's try ensured a maximum points return for his side.
For the Dragons, it was their fifth straight defeat in the competition.
Munster trail fourth-placed Ulster by four points but have a game in hand over their Irish provincial rivals, away to Cardiff Blues on 18 March.
Early opportunities spurned
Both sides blew early opportunities to open the scoring, with the Dragons infringing at a maul and Munster unable to profit from a lung-bursting Francis Saili run.
The deadlock was finally broken at the end of an error-strewn first quarter, Andrew Conway scurrying forward over halfway and subsequent pressure in the 22 saw Kilcoyne crash over from a close-in ruck.
Television Match Official Simon McDowell confirmed the score which went unconverted.
Munster pushed further ahead in the 33rd minute. Captain Billy Holland set up a maul that was grounded in front of the posts, before quick ball saw centre Scannell slip out of Phil Price's tackle to score to the right of the posts.
The conversion was drilled over by Ian Keatley.
Kilcoyne scores third try in three matches
The Munster forwards, including man-of-the-match Dave O'Callaghan, continued to press on the resumption, with loosehead Kilcoyne piling over for his second try just three minutes in. Keatley added the extras for a 19-0 scoreline.
Wales winger Amos opened the Dragons' account with an unconverted 46th-minute try, Jason Tovey breaking past Duncan Williams and then popping up to supply Amos with the scoring pass out wide.
The Dragons almost added their second try when centre Adam Warren was held up, Cronin's right leg coming to Munsters rescue.
Cronin scrambled over from close range in the 77th minute, with replacement Johnny Holland converting.
The 10th-placed Dragons deserved something for their second half showing, but their frustrations were summed up in injury-time when they were held up once more, following a terrific break by Ashton Hewitt.
Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Mark Chisholm, Billy Holland - capt.; Dave O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, Jack O'Donoghue.
Replacements: Mike Sherry, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Robin Copeland, Cathal Sheridan, Johnny Holland, David Johnston.
Newport Gwent Dragons: Carl Meyer; Ashton Hewitt, Adam Hughes, Adam Warren, Hallam Amos; Jason Tovey, Charlie Davies; Phil Price, Thomas Rhys Thomas (c), Brok Harris, Cory Hill, Matthew Screech, Nick Crosswell, Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Shaun Knight, Lloyd Fairbrother, Rynard Landman, Ed Jackson, Sarel Pretorius, Angus O'Brien, Ross Wardle.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin, Jonathan Peak (IRFU)
Citing commissioner: Eddie Walsh (IRFU)
TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)