Guinness PRO14 European wrap: Marvellous Munster storm past Gloucester

Charlie Bennett
12 January 2019

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Joey Carbery scored 26 points to mastermind Munster’s 41-15 victory over Gloucester Rugby and extend their lead at the top of Pool 2 in the Champions Cup.

The Irish playmaker was superb throughout as the Guinness PRO14 Conference A leaders secured a bonus point on a positive night for Guinness PRO14 teams.

Elsewhere, over in Wales the Dragons ran in nine tries to defeat Timisoara Saracens, while Zebre Rugby were beaten by an impressive La Rochelle in the Challenge Cup.

  • Gloucester got off to a quick start through a Billy Twelvetrees penalty, but Carbery soon scored a try, conversion and penalty before centre Rory Scannell went over to give Munster a 20-3 lead at the break.
  • Ollie Thorley and Fraser Balmain pulled points back for Gloucester, but further tries from Keith Earls, Andrew Conway and Carbery dampened the mood at Kingsholm stadium as the Irish giants took control.
  • In south Wales, Timisoara Saracens took an early lead against the Dragons through a Luke Samoa penalty, but it all went downhill once Hallam Amos scored two quick-fire tries to kickstart the hosts’ ensuing onslaught.
  • Dragons scrum-half Rhodri Davies crossed twice in the second half and Matthew Screech, Will Talbot-Davies (2), Jordan Williams and Ben Fry all went over to seal a convincing 59-3 win for the Welsh side.
  • Two penalties from Ihaia West gave La Rochelle an early 6-0 advantage in their clash with Zebre, but the Italians were 12-6 ahead at the break thanks to tries from Gabriele Di Giulio and Maxime Mbanda.
  • But tries from Dany Priso, Arthur Retiere, Lepani Botia and Max LaFage – combined with flawless kicking from West – meant the French side secured the 32-12 bonus-point victory.

What they said:

Munster man of the match Joey Carbery: “I’m obviously delighted with my performance tonight, but what makes me happier is the scoreboard.

“We worked hard during the week, putting a few things into place and we’re just so happy we could come out and pull those off tonight.

“The coaches and the team deserve huge credit for how we prepared for tonight’s result.

“We’ve got one more week in the group stages, so we have to work hard so that next week we can be in a good position at the top of the pool.”

Dragons’ Hallam Amos: “We didn’t start the best, but after that it was good fun and we’ve got some awesome strike runners, Jordan carved them open and then ‘Super Gav’ came on and showed us that class is permanent.

“(Departed coach) Bernard Jackman was a bit of a scapegoat, he’s fallen on the sword which was tough as he laid a lot of good ground-work. I wouldn’t say there’s been a massive change but James Chapron’s come in and simplified the defence.

“We’ll see (about Wales selection) because there’s a lot of strong players at the moment.”

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