Gloucester – 15
Munster – 41
Munster secured a vital away bonus-point victory inspired by Joey Carbery in the Heineken Champions Cup as they defeated Gloucester 41-15 at Kingsholm on Friday night.
Munster’s lineout and scrum proved dominant at crucial parts of the game which helped Munster en route to victory while Conor Murray’s box-kicking proved to be a thorn in the side of the English side as Gloucester’s back-three severely struggled under the high ball.
Gloucester got off to a great start when Gerbrandt Grobler collected the restart from Danny Cipriani. The ball spread wide to the English out-half but he was tackled by Chris Farrell who was subsequently penalised for not releasing.
The English side went to the corner but they were foiled at the lineout by Munster, which was a feature throughout, as Beirne sacked the lineout drive.
Billy Twelvetrees and Carbery exchanged early penalties to have the match delicately poised at 3-3 after 20 minutes.
Carbery was on hand to put Munster into a 10-3 lead after a superb carry from CJ Stander brought play just metres from the Gloucester line. Murray pass sent a laser-like pass to his half-back partner who darted through a gap to touch down.
Carbery extended Munster’s lead just minutes later when Beirne won a turnover and the out-half landed a long-range penalty. This gave the southern province a 13-3 lead heading towards the end of the first half.
However, Munster landed a sucker punch on Gloucester when they crossed through Rory Scannell at the end of the first half after going through over 20 phases close to English side’s line.
At the beginning of the second half, a mistake from Carbery at the kick-off handed the initiative to Gloucester. The English side worked their way up the pitch before they crossed through Ollie Thorley out wide after Johan Ackermann’s men went through a whopping 35 phases.
With the game back in the melting pot, Murray made a crucial contribution to Munster’s third try of the game.
With Gloucester attempting to clear the lines through a box kick, Murray tackled his opposite number after referee Romain Poite determined the ball to be out of the ruck.
From the resulting scrum, Munster got over in the corner through Keith Earls after a clever close-range offload from Billy Holland.
To give credit to Gloucester, they never gave up and they hit back with a close-range try from Fraser Balmain.
However, that’s as good as it got for the home side as a superb kick through from Carbery saw Andrew Conway dot down to secure the bonus-point win, while the Munster out-half secured a second try of his own when he picked off a loose Gloucester pass to sprint home.