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banner Saturday, 3 November, 2001, 16:56 GMT
Munster maul Bridgend
Ronan O'Gara (centre)
O'Gara's kick into space set up John Kelly's try
Munster 40-6 Bridgend

Munster maintained their 100 per cent record in this season's Heineken Cup by crushing Bridgend at Musgrave Park in Cork.

The Irish side overcame a nervous opening to steamroller the Welsh club in the second half.

In truth, Munster were fortunate to go 16-6 ahead at the break after producing a patchy first half performance.

However, the second half was one way traffic as Bridgend became increasingly indisciplined.

Three Bridgend players had been sin-binned by the time by the time Jason Hewlett was sent off in the 67th minute for a stamping offence.

Peter Clohessy was a late withdrawal from the Munster side after he woke up on Saturday morning with a chest infection.

Bridgend's Craig Warlow
Craig Warlow scored a superb early drop-goal

Marcus Horan came into the side which meant the Munster team showed three changes from the side which started in the victory over Bridgend in Wales.

Fly-half Craig Warlow gave Bridgend an early advantage by slotting over a penalty in the second minute.

Ronan O'Gara levelled four minutes later from inside the '22 but the Irish out-half then missed a straight-forward opportunity to put Munster ahead after Horan's superb break had earned a penalty.

Warlow then restored Bridgend's advantage with a superb drop-goal from 30 metres.

A mistake by Peter Stringer very nearly gifted Bridgend a try in the 21st minute.

Deep inside his own '22, the Irish scrum-half attempted to fly-hack into touch after a Bridgend kick-ahead.

Stringer completely miskicked but Bridgend wing Daniel Jones failed to gather less than six metres from the Munster line.

O'Gara's kicking troubles continued in the 25th minute when he missed with another opportunity inside the Bridgend '22.

Munster's Mike Mullins (l) and Bridgend's Josh Taumalolo
Mullins (l) scored Munster's fifth try

Horan was then sin-binned for preventing Bridgend from taking a quick penalty.

Warlow was inches short with his penalty attempt from just inside the Munster half.

Horan's absence meant Peter Clohessy had to come on given that Munster were without one of the front-row trio.

A superb probing kick from Mike Mullins helped Anthony Horgan score the first try of the match in the 31st minute.

Horgan, himself, kicked ahead and he calmly gathered before touching down.

O'Gara's conversion put Munster 10-6 ahead.

Munster then produced another attack into the Bridgend '22 but not the first time, fussy French referee Didier Mene found fault when O'Gara didn't immediately release from the ruck.

In first half injury-time, O'Gara struck two penalties to give Munster a flattering 16-6 interval lead.

Munster's John Kelly
John Kelly: One of Munster's try scorers

Bridgend ended the half without John Devereux who had been sin-binned for a blatant offside offence.

Any prospect of a Bridgend comeback was ended early in the second half when O'Gara's kick into the corner enabled John Kelly to amble in for a touchdown.

O'Gara missed the conversion but the try meant Munster were 21-6 ahead.

Bridgend, now down to 13 players after the sin-binning of Richard Bryan, were in complete disarray by the time Jeremy Staunton grabbed Munster's third try in the 49th minute.

Staunton touched down after a series of Munster drives and O'Gara's conversion left 22 points between the teams.

Out-half Warlow became the third Bridgend player to end up in the sin-bin on the hour.

Magnificent Williams

Munster immediately profited with Jason Holland crashing over in the corner for his side's fourth try to put the Irish province 33-6 ahead.

The inevitable sending-off then did happen although Bridgend forward Jason Hewlett did seem unfortunate to have been adjudged to have stamped Marcus Horan.

Mike Mullins added Munster's fifth try in the 69th minute with O'Gara adding the conversion.

Lions centre Rob Henderson received a big cheer near the end when he came on to make his first Munster appearance.

Munster's man of the match Jim Williams, slightly blotted a magnificent individual performance, by ending the match in the sin-bin.


Munster:
Tries: Staunton, Kelly, Mullins, Holland, Horgan.
Cons: O'Gara 3.
Pens: O'Gara 3.

Bridgend:
Pens: Warlow.
Drop Goals: Warlow.


Munster: Staunton, Kelly, Mullins, Holland, Horgan, O'Gara, Stringer, Horan, Sheahan, Hayes, O'Connell, Galwey, Williams, Quinlan, Foley.
Replacements: P. Clohessy, M. O'Driscoll, Blaney, Prendergast, McMahon, Henderson, Keane.

Bridgend: Durston, G. Jones, G. Thomas, Devereux, D. Jones, Warlow, Hewlett, Loader, G. Williams, Noon, D. Jones, Stephens, Budgett, Bryan, Ringer.
Replacements: Funnell, Rees, Harries, Thiel, Ferris, Clapham, van Rensburg.

Referee: Didier Mene (France)

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