Pro12: Munster 31-15 Scarlets

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Highlights: Munster 31-15 Scarlets
Pro 12
Munster (14) 31
Tries: Saili, Scannell (2), O'Mahony, Stander Cons: Holland (3)
Scarlets (12) 15
Pens: Shingler (5)

Munster kept their cool and punished Scarlets errors to retain sixth place in the Pro12 and secure top flight European rugby next season.

The Welsh region enjoyed plenty of possession, but could manage only five Steven Shingler penalties.

First half tries by Francis Saili and Rory Scannell gave Munster a 14-12 interval lead.

After the break touchdowns by Ronan O'Mahony, CJ Stander and a second for Scannell sealed a hard-earned victory.

The result means Ireland will have four teams in the top-flight European Champions Cup next season, while Wales, Scotland and Italy will have only one each.

On what was being called super Saturday, Munster needed two points to make sure of their place in the top six while Scarlets needed to get a better result than Ulster to climb into the end of season play-offs.

And Wayne Pivac's side started with a purpose, taking an early lead through Shingler after dominating the early exchanges.

Steven Shingler
Steven Shingler will join Cardiff Blues in the summer

Munster are nothing like the power they were when winning the European Cup in 2006 and 2008, but showed their pedigree in defence and counter-attack

When Scarlets turned the ball over centre Saili chipped through, ran a great support line for supported Keith Earls and rounded the move off in style.

It was a pattern that was to repeat itself, with Scarlets unable to break down the defence and Scannell and O'Mahony benefitting from handling errors to claim touchdowns.

Shingler -in his last game before joining Cardiff Blues - kept Scarlets in touch with the boot, but they could not cross the tryline.

Man-of-the-match Stander made sure of victory from a driving lineout and Scannell's late try distorted the final score.

Scarlets topped the Pro12 table at Christmas, but their failure to make the top four was the penalty for home defeats against Blues and Glasgow.

Munster will sit out the end of season play-offs, but can look forward to dining at Europe's top table again next season.

MATCH DETAILS

Munster: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Johnny Holland, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Dave Foley, Billy Holland; Dave O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, CJ Stander (capt)

Replacements: Mike Sherry, James Cronin, John Ryan, Robin Copeland, Jack O'Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Ronan O'Mahony

Scarlets: Liam Williams; Gareth Owen, Steff Hughes, Hadeigh Parkes, Steff Evans; Steve Shingler Aled Davies; Rob Evans, Ken Owens (capt), Peter Edwards; Jake Ball, David Bulbring; Lewis Rawlins, James Davies, John Barclay

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Dylan Evans, Rhodri Jones, Tom Price, Morgan Allen, Gareth Davies, Aled Thomas, Jordan Williams

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)

Citing commissioner: Peter Ferguson (IRFU)

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