Pro12: Munster 33-13 Dragons

Munster (14) 33

  • Tries: Keatley, Ronan, Murray, Zebo, O'Donnell
  • Cons: O'Gara 4

Dragons (6) 13

  • Try: D Evans
  • Cons: Robling
  • Pens: Price, Robling

Munster moved up to second in the Pro12 by running five tries past the Dragons at Thomond Park in Limerick.

Rob Penney's men made a great start with Ian Keatley and Niall Ronan scoring converted tries inside the opening 13 minutes.

In the second half tries by Conor Murray and Simon Zebo strengthened Munster's hand, although Dan Evans grabbed one back for the visitors.

Tommy O'Donnell got Munster's fifth touchdown with eight minutes left.

Following a well-observed minute's silence for the late Nevin Spence, it was fitting that Zebo, one of Spence's former Ireland Under-20 team-mates, lit up the match early on.

Zebo took a high pass from Keith Earls, cantered up the left and linked with Doug Howlett before sending Keatley in at the corner with just 85 seconds gone.

Ronan O'Gara converted with aplomb from a difficult angle and also added the extras to flanker Ronan's 13th-minute effort, the product of more good work from Earls and Zebo.

The pair combined down the left once more with the Dragons, caught out by Munster's willingness to shift the ball at pace, lacking numbers and Zebo passed for Ronan to dive in.

A sin-binning for Donncha O'Callaghan, who struck out at Steve Jones in retaliation, allowed the Dragons to grow into the game.

Tom Prydie slotted a 16th-minute penalty to open their account, but the winger missed two further efforts approaching the half hour mark.

Robling took over the kicking duties and his penalty reduced the arrears to 14-6 at the break.

Munster had the early pressure on the resumption, Ronan going close before prop Dan Way was sin-binned for entering from the side and kicking the ball out of a ruck.

The visitors could not hold out as replacement scrum-half Murray was fed by Paddy Butler off the back of a scrum and he coasted over unopposed.

Zebo then got his name on the scoresheet, dotting down on the left after a smashing break up the middle by Keatley and some good follow-up work by Billy Holland and Earls.

O'Gara converted for a 26-6 lead, but the Dragons mustered a quick response.

After Adam Hughes had been held up, the visitors attacked off a five-metre scrum to release full-back Evans for a well-taken try.

O'Donnell, though, ensured Munster had the last say by notching the province's fifth try of the game.

Munster: Keatley, Howlett, Earls, Downey, Zebo, O'Gara, Stringer, Horan, Sherry, Botha, D. O'Callaghan, Holland, D. O'Callaghan, Ronan, Butler.

Replacements: Barnes for Zebo (65), Murray for Stringer (51), du Preez for Horan (65), Varley for Sherry (65), Archer for Botha (58), D. Foley for Holland (65), O'Donnell for Ronan (71).

Not used: Hanrahan.

Dragons: D Evans, Harries, Hughes, A Smith, Prydie, Robling, J Evans, Price, S Jones, Way, Nimmo, A Jones, Lydiate, Groves, Brown.

Replacements: Tuilagi for A Smith (60), Leach for Prydie (65), Coundley for Price (68), Parry for S Jones (65), Ryan for Brown (49).

Not used: Faletau, L. Evans, Davies.

Att: 12,500

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy).