Car­bery’s mas­ter­class dis­man­tles Glouces­ter

The Rugby Paper - - European Champions Cup - By NICK CAIN

‘CAS­TLE Grim’ is the Glouces­ter nick­name for King­sholm.

It stems from the old es­tate the ground was built on, but by the time Mun­ster had de­mol­ished Jo­han Ackermann’s hap­less out­fit, turn­ing the cas­tle to rub­ble, all Glouces­ter fans were left with was the grim re­al­i­sa­tion of the chasm be­tween their side and true Euro­pean Cup con­tenders.

If Mun­ster were very good, Glouces­ter were limp in ev­ery re­spect as they slumped to by far their worst home Euro­pean Cup de­feat, and their third loss in a row at King­sholm.

The Glouces­ter de­fence dis­in­te­grated like a rot­ten piece of tim­ber, with Mun­ster all but clinch­ing a quar­ter-fi­nal place af­ter a five-try romp.

The Mun­ster hero was Joey Car­bery, whose headto-head with the re­turn­ing Danny Cipri­ani was a no con­test. The young Ir­ish fly-half scored two tries and kicked seven out of seven for a 26-point haul, whereas Cipri­ani was left point­less on the score­board – and prob­a­bly won­der­ing whether it was a point­less ex­er­cise given the dis­crep­ancy in qual­ity be­tween his for­wards and Mun­ster’s.

Car­bery ac­knowl­edged the arm­chair ride he had been given by his pack.

He said: “Ev­ery­thing we do comes from them. It was a huge team per­for­mance tonight.”

The Glouces­ter pack’s in­abil­ity to com­bat Mun­ster’s ball-car­ry­ing power and ur­gency in the loose, or match them for co­he­sion and dis­ci­pline at the li­ne­outs and scrums, will be a se­ri­ous con­cern to Ackermann.

With the ex­cep­tion of a cou­ple of dents made by Ed Slater there was barely a Glouces­ter for­ward who man­aged to drill over the gain-line.

Ex­pect­ing Cipri­ani to some­how pro­duce a silk purse from the sow’s ear pos­ses­sion he got from Ben Mor­gan and his pack was to­tally un­re­al­is­tic.

Conor Mur­ray’s pre­ci­sion box-kick­ing tor­mented the fum­bling Glouces­ter back three, and when Mun­ster also messed with the Premier­ship side’s set-piece – win­ning the lion’s share of the scrum penal­ties and pil­ing the pres­sure on young Glouces­ter hooker Henry Walker at the li­ne­outs – there was only one side in it.

A good start by Glouces­ter soon fiz­zled out, and al­though they led through an early Billy Twel­ve­trees penalty, Mun­ster lev­elled through Car­bery, and then took con­trol. Mid­way through the half a piledriv­ing CJ Stander charge rocked Glouces­ter, and soon af­ter­wards Car­bery sliced through for the open­ing try.

When he con­verted and kicked a penalty to make it 13-3 Glouces­ter were strug­gling, and it got worse when Rory Scan­nell shrugged off a Char­lie Sharples tackle to score on the stroke of half-time.

Al­though Glouces­ter tried to make a game of it in the se­cond half when Cipri­ani put Ol­lie Thor­ley over, and Fraser Bal­main nudged over from short range, Mun­ster al­ways had the greater fire­power.

Tries by Keith Earls and An­drew Con­way – the lat­ter from an in­spired Car­bery chip – re­asserted their dom­i­nance, and when Car­bery in­ter­cepted a Mor­gan pass all that beck­oned for Glouces­ter was a grim post-mortem.

PIC­TURES: Getty Im­ages

Green wall: Ben Mor­gan of Glouces­ter on the charge In the cor­ner: Keith Earls dives over to score for Mun­ster

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