Mur­ray comes off bench to help Mun­ster to vic­tory

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Autumn Internationals -

Ire­land in­ter­na­tion­als Conor Mur­ray and Chris Far­rell made an im­pact off the bench as Mun­ster se­cured a bonus-point win at Ze­bre yes­ter­day. Mur­ray and Far­rell were in­tro­duced in the 51st minute after Re­nato Gi­ammar­i­oli brought Ze­bre back into the game.

Ro­nan O’Ma­hony scored on his re­turn while Rory Scan­nell se­cured the bonus point. Fi­neen Wy­cher­ley and Kevin O’Byrne had given Mun­ster a 17-0 lead at the in­ter­val. How­ever Mur­ray stood out and un­locked the ’s de­fence in the dy­ing min­utes where he looked sharp after more than five months on the side­lines.

Start­ing scrumhalf Neil Cronin put Arno Botha through the de­fence in the lead-up to Alex Woot­ton’s try which was ruled out for a knock-on. Woot­ton had crossed in the 14th minute and Mun­ster only had to wait two more min­utes be­fore they would get re­warded for their pres­sure. O’Byrne threw into a li­ne­out, Botha claimed and Mun­ster rum­bled to­wards the line. They were held up short but when the Ital­ians stopped the Mun­ster hooker for the se­cond time, Wy­cher­ley scored un­der the posts. Bill John­ston, a re­place­ment for JJ Han­ra­han be­fore kick-off, slot­ted the ex­tras and when O’Byrne scored a try in the 30th minute.

Wy­cher­ley had fum­bled a li­ne­out pre­vi­ous to that but Ze­bre failed to clear, Jeremy Lough­man plun­dered his way for­ward, and after he was taken down Cronin and Mike Ha­ley com­bined to help O’Byrne score wide on the left. John­ston’s con­ver­sion was bril­liant but his penalty from al­most half­way just be­fore half-time was even bet­ter. It gave Mun­ster a 17-0 lead at half-time and Mur­ray and Far­rell came on to add an ex­tra zip but Ze­bre al­most piled over in the 62nd minute. They were held up and after a fight erupted Mun­ster couldn’t get clear the ball so Gi­ammar­i­oli dived over to score.

Ze­bre trailed 17-7 but Mun­ster forced a penalty and Scan­nell stepped up to score. Mur­ray was in­flu­en­tial again when O’Ma­hony scored his try in the 73rd minute when he forced a clear­ance.

With one minute left Mur­ray put Scan­nell through for the bonus point try.

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