Pro14: Four-try Munster secure bonus point with 28-0 win over Zebre in Milan
|Pro14: Zebre v Munster|
|Munster (7) 28|
|Tries: Nash, Hanrahan, R Scannell, Sweetnam Con: Hanrahan 4|
Munster scored three second-half tries to secure a 28-0 bonus point win against 14-man Zebre in Milan.
Zebre winger Pierre Bruno was sent off for use of the elbow in the first 10 minutes and Munster scored a minute later through Calvin Nash.
The Irish province were unable to add further scores before the interval and went into half time leading 7-0.
After the break JJ Hanrahan scored a try and created two more for Rory Scannell and Darren Sweetnam.
Zebre controlled early territory and possession but their game took a disastrous turn when Bruno struck Munster flanker Chris Cloete in the neck with his elbow and earned a red card.
From the lineout, Munster mauled, scrum-half Craig Casey box-kicked ahead and the lively Calvin Nash just managed to reach the ball and make contact for a score, which Hanrahan converted.
The try seemed ominous for Zebre but they kept their composure and frustrated Munster in the first half, defending stoutly and getting over the gain line in attack, with centre Tommaso Boni coming close to scoring.
JJ Hanrahan, who was perfect from the tee, began to find space and exploit the advantage after the break, guiding his team into the 22 and nearly putting Scannell in for a try before popping up in the next phase to score himself.
Three minutes later Munster were back in Zebre territory, attacking through the forwards before replacement scrum-half Neil Cronin threw a big pass to Hanrahan who lofted out a carefully-weighted assist for Scannell to score on the right wing.
In the 75th minute, front-row replacements Kevin O'Byrne and Jeremy Loughman displayed deft handling skills to set Hanrahan free and he skipped three men with another big pass for Sweetnam to secure the bonus point.
Zebre: J Laloifi; P Balekana, J Elliott, T Boni (capt), P Bruno, F Brummer, J Renton; D Rimpelli, M Ceciliani, E Bello, M Kearney, I Nagle, M Mbanda, J Tuivaiti, R Giammarioli.
Replacements:M Luccardi, R Burgnara, M Nocero, L Krumov, G Biagi, N Casilio, P Pescetto, E Lucchin.
Munster: M Haley; C Nash, S Arnold, R Scannell, D Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, C Casey; J Cronin, N Scannell (capt), J Ryan; F Wycherley, D O'Shea; A Botha, C Cloete, J O'Sullivan.
Replacements: K O'Byrne, J Loughman, S Archer, G Coombes, T O'Donnell, N Cronin, D Goggin, J Flannery.