Pro14: Cardiff Blues 23-33 Munster
|Guinness Pro14: Cardiff Blues v Munster|
|Cardiff Blues (13) 23|
|Tries: Domachowski, Williams Cons: Evans, Tovey Pens: Evans 3|
|Munster (13) 33|
|Tries: Cloete, Mathewson 2, Nash Cons: Hanrahan 2 Pens: Hanrahan 3|
Munster eased to a clinical bonus-point victory as they beat lacklustre Cardiff Blues in the Pro14 at the Arms Park.
Tries came from Alby Matthewson with two, Chris Cloete and Calvin Nash with JJ Hanrahan kicking 13 points.
Corey Domachowski and Nick Williams crossed for home tries at the end of either half.
Jarrod Evans kicked 11 points but Munster were convincing winners to replace Connacht at the top of Conference B.
It was Munster's fourth victory and the Welsh side's fourth defeat from five games as their defence proved alarmingly fallible.
The first quarter saw Evans slot two penalties with the wind at his back to Hanrahan's one.
But Munster were creating more line-breaks with captain Jack O'Donoghue coming close before fellow flanker Cloete plunged over from close range after 24 minutes, Hanrahan converting and adding another penalty.
The home side eventually sprung to life in the closing moments of the half, hammering away at the visitors' line with the clock in the red before prop Domachowski crossed for Evans to level the scores at 13-13.
Another Evans penalty nudged Cardiff Blues ahead but Munster centre Sammy Arnold cut through after 49 minutes to provide a score for much-travelled New Zealand scrum-half Matthewson, with Hanrahan's extras making it 20-16.
A superb jinking run from Matthew Morgan set up the platform for Aled Summerhill to cross, but Morgan had just nudged the final pass forward and that proved the end of Welsh hopes.
Munster showed their efficiency with a third try on the hour when sub Rory Scannell tore through and wing Nash finished the move.
They sealed the result shortly afterwards with Arnold breaking from deep and Matthewson supporting well for his second try and Munster's bonus point- although the home crowd were justifiably howling for a TMO check on two passes.
A third Hanrahan penalty extended the lead, and the home crowd were given little to cheer on a chilly night until crowd favourite Nick Williams went over for a late consolation try converted by Jason Tovey.
Blues hooker Kristian Dacey suffered a suspected broken foot, while flanker Olly Robinson will miss the Cheetahs game with a shoulder injury.
Cardiff Blues coach John Mulvihill:
"I think we were good enough for the first 60 minutes, we should then have scored a try but we weren't clinical enough. Then we went five consecutive penalties (against us) and three one-on-one missed tackles for three tries, that part is not good enough.
"I've been positive (with the players) after every game this year and at some stage they needed to hear how I felt about our performance, I think they'll take it on board and they'll be better for it on Monday.
"The first three weeks of last year were pretty tough, we're not far away (from that situation) but we're also not far away from getting it right."
Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Jason Harries, Rey Lee-Lo, Garyn Smith, Aled Summerhill; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams (capt); Corey Domachowski, Kristian Dacey, Scott Andrews, Josh Turnbull, Rory Thornton, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Olly Robinson, Will Boyde.
Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Keiron Assiratti, Seb Davies, Nick Williams, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Willis Halaholo.
Munster: Shane Daly; Calvin Nash, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson; Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O'Byrne, Keynan Knox; Fineen Wycherley, Darren O'Shea; Jack O'Donoghue (C), Chris Cloete, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Liam O'Connor, Stephen Archer, Jed Holloway, Conor Oliver, Nick McCarthy, Tyler Bleyendaal, Rory Scannell.
Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU)
Assistants: Dan Jones (WRU); Richard Brace (WRU)
TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU)