Munster 64, Dragons 3
It is going to be a totally different challenge but scrum-half Craig Casey is hopeful that Munster can build on this facile win over the next two weekends in South Africa.
Casey, along with Chris Farrell and Gavin Coombes, impressed after being released from Irish camp for this URC clash at Thomond Park on Saturday, but Dragons only offered token resistance as Munster equalled the ten tries they scored against the Kings two years ago and came within four points of matching their biggest ever win when they defeated the Port Elizabeth side 68-3 that day.
“The weather was good, we got to throw the ball around, we scored from kick-off which is always nice, no phases, so it was good night’s work and we’re happy. The lads go to South Africa now hopefully they’ll build on it over there,” said Casey.
“It’s all about getting back into the system and trying to play to the team’s ability, not try to force the hand too much, because that’s when things go wrong, so it’s about being calm under pressure.
“An enjoyable week and hopefully now build for the next few games, the Six Nations,” added Casey, who ended up on the wing in the closing stages.
Casey, Jack O’Donoghue and Chris Cloete each got over for a couple of tries. Scrum-half Casey was also razor sharp, darting over for their opening two tries before full-back Mike Haley broke to send skipper O’Donoghue over after 25 minutes. The bonus-point try came five minutes from the interval when Farrell sent South African Cloete through for his first try.
Munster turned the screw in the third quarter and ran in three more tries. A tapped penalty inside the 22 from Casey caught the Dragons defence asleep and sent Simon Zebo over unchallenged after 53 minutes.
They crossed again within a minute when Haley collected the restart and raced through before he set up Farrell to score under the posts. Crowley converted to make it 40-3 before another quick move through the hands four minutes put Shane Daly away down the right to score.
A bullet pass from Casey put Cloete over and John Hodnett and O’Donoghue completed the rout.
Munster – M Haley (B Healy 60); S Daly, C Farrell (R Scannell 56), D Goggin, S Zebo (N Cronin 69); J Crowley, C Casey; J Wycherley (J Loughman 56), D Barron (N Scannell 56), J Ryan (S Archer 56); J Kleyn (J Hodnett 65), F Wycherley (A Kendellen 41); J O’Donoghue, C Cloete, G Coombes.
Dragons – J Williams; W Talbot-Davies (L Jones 56), J Dixon, A Owen (J Lewis 40), R Dyer; S Davies, R Williams (D Baker 65); G Bateman (A Seiuli 46), T Davies (E Shipp 57), C Coleman (M Doge 60); J Davies (H Taylor 56), J Maksymiw; H Keddie, O Griffiths, A Wainwright (B Fry 41).
Ref – S Grove-White (Scotland)