Heineken Cup Pool 6: Munster earn home win over Gloucester
Munster beat Gloucester 26-10 at Thomond Park for their first win in Pool 6 of the Heineken Cup.
Last Updated: 20/10/13 3:43pm
Tries from Damien Varley and Johne Murphy, plus 16 points from Ian Keatley's boot, was enough for the Irish province to get their campaign back on track after a surprise defeat to Edinburgh last week.
Gloucester, who made 12 changes to the starting XV that beat Perpignan in their pool opener, produced the opening try of the game when Charlie Sharples swooped over on the blindside in the 16th minute.
Keatley had already landed three of his four penalties by that stage but Gloucester remained in touch until Murphy's 68th-minute try sealed the result for Munster.
Munster dominated possession and territory in the opening stages and stand-off Keatley punished a steady stream of infringements from the visitors with penalties in the fourth, 10th and 13th minutes to build a 9-0 advantage.
Gloucester needed a quick response and found one; Sharples diving over after scrum-half Dan Robson switched the direction of attack following an attacking lineout that had been earned via turnover ball.
Jonny Bentley landed the conversion to cut Gloucester's deficit to 9-7 but that was as close as they got.
Munster were rewarded for another spell of pressure before half-time. They opted to kick a penalty to the corner and from the resulting catch-and-drive lineout, hooker Varley was able to touch down.
Keatley converted but his opposite number Bentley kicked a penalty to end the first half and keep Munster's advantage to 16-10.
Munster struggled to break down Gloucester's resolute defence until the final 15 minutes when Keatley's fourth penalty was swiftly followed by the decisive try.
After spotting his winger all alone out wide, Keatley lofted a perfectly-weighted kick into Murphy's hands, who then raced over for the score.
Keatley landed the extras to complete his points haul and a result that sets up the pool nicely heading into round three.