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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 20:22 GMT 21:22 UK
Munster survive late scare
Swansea fly-half Arwel Thomas
Arwel Thomas scored 12 points for Swansea
Celtic League - Pool A
Munster 38-27 Swansea

Munster made it four Celtic League wins out of four with a win over Swansea - but they were given a late scare by the Welshman at Musgrave Park, Cork.

Four late tries for the visitors were not quite enough to stop Munster from continuing their Pool domination.

Munster full-back Jeremy Staunton kicked the home side into a 12-3 lead with four successful penalties in the opening 20 minutes after Swansea had opened the scoring with a second-minute drop goal from Arwel Thomas.

  Scoring detail
Munster (19) 38
Tries: Crotty (2), Lawlor, Prendergast
Cons: Staunton (3)
Pens: Staunton (4)
Swansea (3) 27
Tries: Henson, Winn, A Thomas, Charvis
Cons: A Thomas (2)
Drop Goals: A Thomas
Things got worse for the visitors when hooker Garin Jenkins was withdrawn in the 36th minute, replaced by Christian Balshen.

Mossie Lawlor was first to cross the Welshmen's try line just before half-time, finishing off in the corner after some heavy Munster pressure in front of the posts.

Staunton converted and Alan Gaffney's side went in for the half-time break 19-3 ahead.

Gaffney's opposite number, fellow Australian John Connolly, made further changes to his pack at the break.

Andrew Farley, a midweek signing from Queensland Reds, was introduced for the restart.

Munster, however, picked up where they left off as Dominic Crotty intercepted a loose Swansea pass on his own 22 and raced up-field, cutting inside last man Thomas to touch down for his side's second try of the night.

Staunton missed his conversion attempt, but Crotty added another try on 51 minutes and this time the full-back's conversion went over off an upright to stretch the lead to 31-3.

Swansea showed their fighting spirit when Thomas breached the Munster try-line in the 64th minute, converting his own handiwork to bring the Welshmen back to 31-10.

And there was further hope when Steve Winn crossed over in the 70th minute for an unconverted try.

The home side had not finished, though, and scrum-half Mike Prendergast's try with two minutes to go all but confirmed victory.

Staunton converted, yet there was still time for Swansea to mount another mini-recovery as first Colin Charvis and then Gavin Henson went over.

Thomas converted one and the scoreline at last had a respectable look about it for the travelling Welshmen.


Munster: J Staunton; M Lawlor, M Mullins, J Holland, D Crotty; K Keane, M Prendergast; S Kerr, F Sheahan, R Laffan, M Galwey, M O'Driscoll, E Halvey, D Leamy, J Williams (capt).
Reps: W O'Kelly, J Blaney, T Hogan, C McMahon, D Malone, C Mahony J O'Neill.

Swansea: S Payne; G Henson, M Taylor, S Winn, M Robinson; A Thomas, S Cordingley; D Morris, G Jenkins, B Evans, J Slade, J Griffiths, R Jenkins, J Thomas, C Charvis (capt).
Reps: R Jones, Vaughton, Balshen, D Dorsey, A Farley, R Francis, J Bater.

Referee: Rob Dickson (SRFU)


The final

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