Munster proved too powerful for the Isuzu Southern Kings in their Guinness PRO14 clash at Irish Independent Park in Cork on Friday night, scoring 10 tries to none for a convincing 68-3 victory.
Munster dominated proceedings in the first half thanks to their ability to convert their chances into points, with the team scoring four tries, while they limited the visitors to a penalty goal for a 28-3 lead.
They added six tries to their tally in the second stanza to take their total for the match to 10 – with Arno Botha (No 8) securing his hat-trick and Shane Daly (winger) a brace - while the Isuzu Southern Kings were unable to breach the effective defence despite determined efforts throughout the match, which saw the hosts’ bag a morale-boosting victory.
The Isuzu Southern Kings were reduced to 14 men as early as the seventh minute as Andell Loubser (fullback) received a yellow card for infringing at a breakdown, and Munster pounced on this to score their first try compliments of Botha from a pick-and-go from behind the scrum.
The visitors responded with a penalty goal by Demetri Catrakilis (flyhalf) in the 17th minute, but this proved to be their first and only points of the match.
Calvin Nash (Munster winger) scored the hosts second try in the 23rd minute from a smart change of direction on attack, and Botha added another six minutes later from a good line on attack backed with pace and power.
They continued this fine form in the dying seconds of the half with Jack O’Donoghue (flanker) securing their bonus-point try on the stroke of halftime after gathering a well-timed chip-and-chase, which pushed them into a 25-point lead going into the break.
Munster built on this form early in the second half as John Hodnett (flanker) finished off a stunning team try after some impressive inter-passing, and James Cronin (scrumhalf) added their sixth try soon after as he capitalised on a sharp pass to dash through the defence.
Munster winger Shane Daly added his name to the growing list of try scorers early in the fourth quarter after dotting down from a wry pass behind the tryline by the opposition as they attempted to clear the ball from their red zone.
As if this was not enough for the Isuzu Southern Kings, Lusanda Badiyana (flanker) received a yellow card in the 72nd minute for an off-the-ball incident during a scuffle between the sides, which saw the team being reduced to 14 men for the remainder of the match.
This paved the way for Dan Goggin (centre), Botha and Daly to cross the chalk in the dying minutes for their impressive 68-3 win. This late surge allowed Botha earn his hat-trick, while Daly walked away with a brace.
Munster: Tries: Arno Botha (3), Calvin Nash, Jack O’Donoghue, John Hodnett, James Cronin, Shane Daly (2), Dan Goggin. Conversions: JJ Hanrahan (6), Ben Healy (3).
Isuzu Southern Kings: Penalty: Demetri Catrakilis.