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Munster move to second in the RaboDirect PRO12 table with victory over the Newport-Gwent Dragons
Munster had too much power for the Dragons as they cruised to a 33-13 victory at Thomond Park.
The Munstermen never looked back after taking a second-minute lead, with the win allowing them to move up to second in the RaboDirect PRO12 table.
Ian Keatley, Niall Ronan, Conor Murray, Simon Zebo and Tommy O'Donnell all crossed for tries for Munster, while Ronan O'Gara added eight points.
However the early sin-binning of Donncha O'Callaghan did halt Munster's progress in the first half - and gave the Dragons hope.
Former Ospreys and Wasps winger Tom Prydie and Lewis Robling did slot over a penalty apiece - but Prydie was guilty of missing two other chances that could have turned the game on its head.
Robling went on to add a further conversion, while Dan Evans scored their only try but the sin-binning of Dan Way nine minutes into the second half was to prove pivotal as Munster added 12 points while he was off.
Munster got off to the perfect straight when full-back Keatley crossed in just the second minute of the match.
O'Gara added the extras and was on target again 12 minutes later after flanker Ronan had powered over.
That should have been the platform for Munster to build on, but when O'Callaghan was yellow carded on 17 minutes Munster lost their way.
Fortunately for them the Dragons failed to capitalise, with Prydie - who had opened his account just before O'Callaghan's departure - missing with two shots at goal.
Robling, though, stepped up to keep the visitors in touch with a three-pointer just before half-time.
The Dragons suffered a setback on 49 minutes when Way was given 10 minutes on the sidelines.
And Munster made them pay as they took advantage of having the extra man to score tries through Murray, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes, and Zebo to claim the bonus point. O'Gara added one conversion to make it 26-6.
With the Dragons back up to 15 men, full-back Evans crossed to give them hope - with Robling adding the conversion.
However O'Donnell, fresh from replacing Ronan, scored with eight minutes left and O'Gara converted to put the result beyond doubt.British and Irish Lions Tour. Click here to bet.
Guinness PRO12 Table
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Scarlets|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Dragons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht|
|TBC||Leinster vs Zebre|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ulster|
|Friday 26th December|
|Ulster 13 - 10 Connacht|
|Munster 28 - 13 Leinster|
|Cardiff Blues 17 - 23 Dragons|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Dragons 25 - 11 Zebre|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com