Munster faced Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium in Ireland for the Pro 12 trophy. Munster were sligh favourites being in their own country however, Scarlets had shown in the semi’s that being the home team doesnt always play part; they had comprehensivley beaten Leinster away from home. It was set to be tight with both teams on great form. Surely it would be tight…?
Munster kicked things off with an early Tyler Bleyendaal penalty before his opposite number, Rhys Patchell, showed his skills with the boot in open play. Patchell cross kicked the ball into the try zone and it was Liam Williams who pounced onto the ball and scored! Patchell hooked the conversion but made no mistake with a penalty a few minutes later.
The Scarlets were playing with confidence and their expansive play was proving a difficulty for Munster to deal with. They exploited that through Jonathan Davies who made a great break then a one two play along with some nice agility allowed Steff Evans to screech away in the corner!
They were running riot and carried on their try scoring streak through Gareth Davies. The scrum half squandered an opportunity courtesy of an Aaron Shingler break but redeemed himslef by finishing one off. Scott Williams burst through the tackle of Kieth Earls and threw the inside pass to Davies who run in under the sticks. There was a hint of a forward pass but after TMO referel, Nigel Owens controversially deemed it had gone backwards.
Munster could simply not get a foothold and were being mullered by the men from Wales on Irish soil. Tadgh Bierne made matters worse for Munster when he carried from close range and spun out of a challenge to flop over the line! It was all too easy!
As the game approached halftime, Munster were in desperate need of a score. They managed to get one through Bleyendaal as the clock turned red to give them a glimmer of hope, just a glimmer but there was hope.
HALF TIME MUNSTER 10 – 29 SCARLETS
The second half was much less action packed than the first. In fact, it wasn’t until 70 minutes before the first try but it was a good one. DTH van der Merwe was playing his last game before he moves to Newcastle but the Canadian made sure he was still in fine form. He evaded the attempts of Jaco Taute and Bleyendaal before strongly fending off Jack O’Donogue to dash away in superb style!
Munster had been well and truly thrashed but turned on the style in the last five when Andrew Conway made a slick break, stepped back on the inside of Liam Williams and scored but it was mearly consolation.
Munster’s performance had been dreadful but as I said, the last five were quite brilliant. Keith Earls picked off a lacklustered pass and weeved his way under the posts and they still believe the ‘impossible’ was possible.
Scarlets had switched off for the last minutes but still managed to get one more score when James Davies picked up a poor kick from Ian Keatley and jogged in. What a victory it was and it stands that Scarlets have won their first Pro 12 title since 2004!