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Last Updated: Friday, 2 April, 2004, 19:49 GMT 20:49 UK
Warriors 29-25 Munster
CELTIC LEAGUE
Gethin Jenkins crosses for his try
Warriors (16) 29
Tries: Jenkins, Bryan
Cons: Sweeney (2)
Pens: Sweeney (5)
Munster (15) 25
Tries: Holland, Horgan, Cullen
Cons: Holland (2)
Pens: Holland (2)
Att: 5,500
The Warriors thrilled a packed crowd on their return to Sardis Road with a comeback Celtic League win.

The home side trailed by nine points with 20 minutes to go, as Mike Mullins created tries for Jason Holland, Anthony Horgan and Chris Cullen.

The Warriors stayed in touch thanks to a powerful scrum, and tries came from Gethin Jenkins and Richard Bryan.

They remained two points behind in the 79th minute, but Ceri Sweeney landed two late penalties to claim the win.

The powerful Munster side, rejuvenated by the return of their international stars, tore into the Warriors from the start, Holland notching a penalty after the home side were forced offside in the first minute.

A Mullins break set up an attacking Munster scrum, and from quick ball Holland looped off Mullins in midfield and had the strength to reach for the opening try.

Our forwards were dominating at the end
Warriors prop Gethin Jenkins
Paul O'Connell powered over the Warriors line soon after, only to see Richard Mustoe prevent him from grounding the ball, then Anthony Horgan was denied a try because of a forward pass.

Reckless use of the boot from Donncha O'Callaghan cost the fiery lock 10 minutes in the sin bin and the Warriors took immediate advantage, Jenkins driving from their next line-out and showing the leg power to rumble through the Munster defence for his side's first score.

Jenkins, back in his favoured position of loose-head, was having an immense game in the tight against Gordon McIlwham, and won the Warriors a penalty from a scrum from which Sweeney drew the home side level.

But another midfield break from Mullins on the half hour saw him free Horgan for a simple try in the corner.

The Warriors rallied, two Sweeney penalties giving them a one-point lead, although it could have been more as Cory Harris lost the ball over the line on the stroke of half-time.

Jason Holland
Jason Holland's 15 points could not save his team
They rued that miss further 10 minutes into the second period as Mullins again burst clear in midfield, breaking Sweeney's tackle before feeding Cullen for the New Zealander's first try for Munster.

Holland added a conversion and penalty, but a powerful five-metre scrum from the Warriors presented number eight Bryan with an easy try to get his side back in the game.

Richard Parks was sin binned in the 65th minute after handling at the tackle area, but the Warriors stayed within two points as the game entered the closing minutes.

Then a moment of genius from Kevin Morgan set the home side on the road to victory, superb counter-running from deep in his own half setting up a dangerous attack.

With Munster under severe pressure, O'Connell came over the top at a ruck and Sweeney nervelessly stroked over the penalty, before closing the game out with his seventh successful kick minutes later.

"We had worked hard on our scrum and line-out in the week, and it showed that they had a few front-row players missing," said man-of-the-match Jenkins.

"Our forwards were dominating at the end, and I was delighted to get my first try of the season back here on home turf."


Warriors: K Morgan, G Wyatt, S James, J Bryant, R Mustoe, C Sweeney, G Cooper, G Jenkins, M Rees, C Horsman, B Cockbain, R Sidoli, R Parks, C Harris, R Bryan.

Replacements: M Davies, M Jones, D Jones, R Jones, S Martens, N Jenkins, A Havili.

Munster: C Cullen, J Kelly, M Mullins, R Henderson, A Horgan, J Holland, E Reddan, F Roche, J Flanery, G McIlwham, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell, J Williams (capt), D Wallace, A Foley.

Replacements: M Cahill, R Callaghan, D Pusey, S Keogh, F Murphy, M Lawlor, S Payne.

Referee: Andy Ireland (Scotland).




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