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Magners League: Munster 33-17 Aironi

Munster (11) 33
Tries: Jones, Ronan 2, Buckley Con: Warwick 2 Pens: Warwick 2 Drop Goal: Warwick
Aironi (11) 17
Try: Laharrague Pens: Mercier 4


Ian Dowling, Jaco Erasmus and Salvatore Perugini
Ian Dowling is tackled by Jaco Erasmus and Salvatore Perugini

Munster's under-strength side had to battle hard before overcoming Magners League newcomers Aironi in Saturday's clash at Musgrave Park.

Paul Warwick kicked Munster into a 6-0 lead only for Ludovic Mercier to level and Julien Laharrague's breakaway try then cancelled out Felix Jones' score.

But Niall Ronan and Tony Buckley scored Munster tries after the break following Salvatore Perugini's sin-binning.

Two more Mercier penalties kept Aironi in touch before Ronan's second try.

It was not a convincing display by Munster but Aironi's performance suggested that their participation will enhance the Magners League.

Two early penalties from Warwick put Munster 6-0 ahead but Aironi then produced some pressure of their own with Italian international scrum-half Tito Tebaldi to the fore.

The pressure yielded two penalties in the space of three minutes, both of which Mercier slotted.

Munster's sluggishness in attack was briefly interrupted by Jones' first Magners League try as he sprinted over the line after Peter Stringer's pass.

However, Aironi levelled with the score of the match with Laharrague completing the breakaway move after Mercier's chip had enabled centres Dylan des Fountain and Roberto Quartaroli to link.

Munster took advantage of Perugini's yellow card for tackling a player without the ball as Ronan and Buckley muscled their way over in quick succession after half-time.

Mercier's brace of penalties briefly kept Aironi in touch at 26-17 before Ronan's second try made the game safe.

Aironi kept battling and replacement scrum-half Michael Wilson was inches away from registering a late try that their efforts would have merited.


Munster: F Jones; D Howlett, S Tuitupou, J Murphy, I Dowling; P Warwick, P Stringer; W du Preez, D Varley, T Buckley; M O'Driscoll, B Holland; D Ryan, N Ronan, D Leamy (capt). Replacements: S Deasy for Jones 74, D Barnes for Tuitupou 72, D Williams for Stringer 64, M Horan for du Preez 54, D Fogarty for Varley 54, A Quinlan for O'Driscoll 61, P O'Mahony for Ronan 45.
Not Used: Hayes.

Aironi: J Laharrague, G Rubini, R Quartaroli, D Des Fountain, G Toniolatti, L Mercier, T Tebaldi, A de Marchi, F Ongaro, S Perugini, C del Fava, Q Geldenhuys, J Erasmus, G Krause, N Williams. Replacements: A Benatti for Rubini 64, G Pizarro for des Fountain 71, M Wilson for Tebaldi 69, A de Marchi for A de Marchi 58, R Santamaria for Ongaro 64, L Milani for Perugini 69, M Bortolami for Del Fava 53, A Birchall for Erasmus 71.

Referee: G Knox (Scotland)



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