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Magners League: Munster 27-26 Scarlets

Munster (13) 27
Tries: Warwick, Tuitupou, Murphy Cons: Warwick 3 Pens: Warwick 2
Scarlets (13) 26
Tries: Edwards 2 Cons: Priestland 2 Pens: Priestland 4

Paul Warwick claimed 17 of Munster's points in the win
Paul Warwick claimed 17 of Munster's points in the win

Munster extended their lead at the top of the Magners League with a hard-fought win over second-place Scarlets at Musgrave Park.

It took just three second-half minutes to do the damage when Sam Tuitupou and Barry Murphy each claimed tries despite having Peter O'Mahony in the sin bin.

Paul Warwick also went over and kicked Munster's remaining points.

Captain Jonathan Edwards grabbed both of the Scarlets tries, but they will be left to rue a missed opportunity.

Munster now lead the Scarlets by seven points but it could have been very different had the Welsh region capitalised on their bright start by opening up a healthy lead inside the opening 10 minutes.

First Rhys Priestland sent two penalties wide after Munster were guilty of slowing the ball at the breakdown.

Then Ben Morgan thought he had scored the first try after pouncing on a loose ball at a ruck, but it was ruled out after others were adjudged to have not stayed on their feet.

The Scarlets were dominating possession but in quick succession lost wing Lee Williams with a shoulder injury and scrum-half Martin Roberts to the sin bin for taking out Denis Hurley.

Nigel Davies' side still managed to get the first points on the board through Priestland's kick when Munster killed the ball again.

That lead did not last long though as Warwick kicked successfully at the second attempt after the Scarlets were caught offside midway through the first half.

And within eight minutes, Warkick kicked Munster into the lead after he and O'Mahony were both held up short of the try-line.

Davies rues 'very soft' tries

The hosts were now in control and their defence was holding up well as the Scarlets found it difficult to make a breakthrough, but they were on level terms through another Priestland penalty when Edwards was tackled in the air.

The game needed a try and it came four minutes before the break when Warwick popped under the posts to finish off some determined running from Munster's forwards.

Scarlets refused to be bowled over though and Priestland carved open the Munster defence finding captain Edwards who ran through to go in 13-13 at the break.

They were given the had the upper hand after the restart when O'Mahony was sin-binned for coming into a maul from the side.

Priestland kicked three more points to put the Scarlets back in front, but then they collapsed against the 14 men by conceding two quick tries.

New Zealander Tuitupou grabbed the first bursting through the visitors' defence at full pace to go under the posts for a converted try.

And then centre Murphy spotted a gap to go clean through for the second to take Munster 27-16 ahead.

The Scarlets had been rocked, but showed great resolve and on the hour Roberts' delayed pass found Edwards for his second try.

That gave the Welsh region hope and they set up a grandstand finish when Priestland kicked them to within one point of Munster after Niall Ronan came in from the side.

And the Scarlets almost snatched the win in the dying moments.

After holding off intense Munster pressure near their own try-line, they broke up the field only to see Morgan Stoddart held up five metres short by Hurley with Daniel Evans free outside.

Meanwhile, the Scarlets' injury fears over centre Jonathan Davies have eased. He has been out since the end of September with an ankle injury, but a specialist has decided he won't need surgery and should now be fit for the Magners League Christmas derby matches.

Munster: Deasy, Howlett, B. Murphy, Tuitupou, D. Hurley, Warwick, Williams, du Preez, Sherry, Borlase, Holland, Nagle, O'Mahony, Ronan, Coughlan.
Replacements: Dineen for Deasy (79), Murray for Williams (22), D. Ryan for du Preez (66), Henry for Sherry (79), Archer for Borlase (79), O'Donnell for O'Mahony (59).

Not Used: Gleeson, B. Hayes.

Scarlets: Evans, Stoddart, Maule, King, L. Williams, Priestland, Roberts, I. Thomas, Owens, P. Edwards, Reed, Day, A. Shingler, J. Edwards, Morgan, John.
Replacements: Newton for Priestland (78), Knoyle for Roberts (60), Phillips for Owens (60), Fa'amatuainu for P. Edwards (52), Welch for Day (60), John for A. Shingler (52), Gardner for John (79).

Not Used: S. Williams.

Att: 7,000

Ref: James Jones (WRFU).

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see also
Munster 15-6 Australia
16 Nov 10 |  Munster
London Irish 16-25 Scarlets
14 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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