United Rugby Championship: Munster defeats Cardiff 42-21 for second place

Thomas Ahern tackles Rhys Carre
Thomas Ahern, Munster try-scorer, tackles Cardiff's Rhys Carre at Musgrave Park during the first quarter
Munster (27) 42
Tries:Haley 2, Ahern 2 and Casey 2 Cons:Healy 3, Carbery Pens: Healy 3
Cardiff (14) 21
Tries: S Davies, Lee-Lo and Williams Cons: J Evans 3

Munster moved up to second in the United Rugby Championship table with a win at Musgrave Park, 42-21 bonus point victory over Cardiff.

Mike Haley and Thomas Ahern each scored one try in the first period. Craig Casey scored twice after the break for a convincing victory.

Cardiff's try scorers were Seb, Rey Lee Lo and Lloyd Williams.

It was Cardiff's fifth consecutive loss in all competitions, but Munster managed to move within five points of Leinster.

The Welsh region remains without an away win and is currently sitting in 14th place in the table.

Cardiff started off well when Seb Davies, second row, jumped over in the corner and accepted a challenge. Jarrod Evans converted.

The hosts were level four minutes later when Haley, who was positioned behind the posts because their back division kept recycling and Ben Healy adding extras, dotted down.

Rey Lee Lo ran in the visitors' second attempt in the 12th minute. Evans contributed two additional points. Simon Zebo then crossed but his “try” was disqualified as the winger had a foot on touch.

Healy's penalty brought down the arrears by four points, before Haley, full-back, touched down under the posts for his second attempt. He completed a move that he began by stepping inside and diving across.

Hallam Amos, Cardiff's fullback, will be retiring at the end the season to focus on his medical career. Healy scored a penalty, and then Lock Thomas Ahern grabbed a converted try to give Munster an 13-point cushion.

Healy kicked his second penality, but Lloyd Williams helped Dai Young's side get within nine points. He threw a ball dummy and crossed under the posts. Evans converted.

Munster completed the phases at the hour mark, and Jack O'Donoghue was offloaded to replace Craig Casey. Munster secured the four-try bonus point and Joey Carbery converted.

Casey made his second attempt with just three minutes left, as the Irish province gained momentum for next week’s Champions Cup quarterfinal against Toulouse.

Next up in Cardiff's URC is Zebre, who is at the bottom of the table.

Munster:Mike Haley, Calvin Nash and Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell and Simon Zebo; Ben Healy and Conor Murray, Diarmuid Barryon, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Thomas Ahern, Peter O'Mahony, Alex Kendellen, Jack O'Donoghue

Replacements: Scott Buckley, Josh Wycherley, Keynan Knox, Jason Jenkins, Jack Daly, Craig Casey, Joey Carbery, Shane Daly.

Cardiff:Hallam Amos; Owen Lane; Max Llewellyn; Jarrod Evans; Lloyd Williams; Rhys Carre; Kristian Carre; Dillon Lewis; Seb Davies; Rory Thornton; Rory Thornton; James Botham; Josh Navidi (capt), James Ratti

Replacements:Kirby Myhill. Brad Thyer. Keiron Assiratti. Matthew Screech. Ellis Jenkins. Jamie Hill. Rhys Priestland. Garyn Smith.

Referee:Sam Grove-White (SRU).

Assistant referees: Frank Murphy & Robbie Jenkinson (IRFU)

TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)

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