Munster 21Scarlets 30
MUNSTER WERE BLOWN away by a superb fightback by Scarlets in a thrilling encounter at Thomond Park.
Munster seemed poised for an easy win when they opened up a 15-point lead by the interval.
But the in-form Llanelli side came storming back to carve out a win and hold the leaders scoreless in the second-half.
Munster laid a strong foundation in the opening half when they scored three converted tries to deservedly lead by 21-6 at the break.
An early Dan Jones penalty was followed by Munster getting on top for most of the remainder of the opening half and deserved to have the bonus point in the bag.
Tyler Bleyendaal controlled the game for Munster and Dave O’Callaghan was also involved in a move, which finished with Jaco Taute’s eighth try of the season after 13 minutes.
Jones pulled back a penalty from 35 metres for Scarlets, but the reprieve was short-lived. Two penalties to the left corner by Munster led to the second try after 23 minutes, with Darren Sweetnam this time supplying the finish.
Centre Dan Goggins created the third try six minutes later with a break through the middle, with an excellent pass from scrumhalf Williams putting academy Number 8 Conor Oliver over for his second try of the campaign.
Bleyendaal again judged the wind to perfection to land his third conversion as the attendance of 16,742 waited for more of the same after the restart.
And yes, there were quality tries after the break, but it was Scarlets who took over, with Jones getting his third penalty before captain Hadleigh Parkes got in for their opening try after 56 minutes.
They crossed again three minutes later through full-back Johnny McNicholl, and with Jones converting both tries, they suddenly led 23-21.
It got worse for Munster 18 minutes from time, when Scarlets again worked it through the hands for full-back Tim Williams to score, with Jones adding the extras to make it 30-21.
Munster could not find a way back and weren’t even able to get a bonus point with Kilcoyne being stopped short four minutes from time.
Munster: Jaco Taute (Andrew Conway ’53); Darren Sweetnam, Francis Saili, Dan Goggin, Ronan O’Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall (Kevin O’Byrne ’63), Stephen Archer (Brian Scott ’66); Dave Foley (Darren O’Shea ’67), Billy Holland; Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Conor Oliver.
Scarlets: Johnny Mcnicholl; DTH van der Merwe (Rynier Bernardo ’76), Steffan Hughes, Hadleigh Parkes, Tom Williams (Ioan Nicholas ’70); Daniel Jones (Aled Thomas ’70), Jonathan Evans (Aled Davies ’46); Wyn Jones (Luke Garrett ’76), Ryan Elias, Werner Kruger; Tom Price, Tadhg Beirne; Aaron Shingler, James Davies, Will Boyde (Morgan Allan ’70).
Referee: Daniel Jones (Wales).
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