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Simon Zebo marked his return to the Munster starting line-up with a try as the RaboDirect PRO12 leaders produced a scintillating second-half display to down Cardiff Blues 54-13.
JJ Hanrahan was at his best from the tee, bagging 24 points, with Dave Kilcoyne’s first-half try, a first home score for Gerhard Van den Heever, a penalty try and late efforts from Andrew Conway and CJ Stander doing the rest of the damage.
Owen Williams’ first-half try was all the Blues really had to celebrate as they were simply blown away after the break, conceding 35 unanswered points in the second half.
Hanrahan got Munster going after four minutes with a routine penalty after the Blues were penalised for not rolling away but Davies responded with three points of his own just three minutes later.
Kilcoyne bagged the game’s first try on 11 minutes, the No.8 taking the ball over the line after a great charge from James Coughlan following a lineout, Hanrahan adding the extras.
However Cardiff dramatically drew level a minute later with a try from Williams, Davies with the conversion for 10-10 in an exciting opening quarter-of-an-hour.
Hanrahan and Davies then reassumed their kicking duel as the Munster fly-half added two further penalties to the Welshman’s one, 16-13.
And with the last action of the half a neat flick from Denis Hurley found the returning Zebo, who in turn earned Munster a penalty which Hanrahan slotted over for a 19-13 half-time lead.
After the break though the RaboDirect PRO12 leaders went up a gear and although the Blues defence managed to stop Munster just short of the line on 53 minutes, they weren’t so successful on the hour.
Munster exerted some real pressure on the Cardiff line and the referee had no choice but to award a penalty try on 61 minutes with Patrick Palmer having been sent to the sin bin just beforehand.
A great burst from James Cronin then led to Zebo going over for Munster’s third try of the game, Hanrahan continuing his excellent work from the tee to take the score onto 33-13.
Rob Penney’s men then had their bonus point as Van den Heever marked his first appearance at Thomond Park with a try, Hanrahan maintaining his 100 percent success rate with the extras.
There was still time for Munster to add a fifth however as replacement Conway got in on the act, the TMO confirming the grounding.
And with the last action of the game they had their sixth score through Stander, rounding off a resounding display that justifies their current position at the top.