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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 6th September|
|17:00||Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:35||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:40||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow|
|Sunday 28th September|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso|
|Sunday 5th October|
|16:00||Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Saturday 11th October|
|14:40||Edinburgh vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Saturday 18th October|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|19:45||Stade Francais vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Friday 24th October|
|19:30||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle|
|Saturday 1st November|
|15:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Exeter|
|TBC||Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Saturday 8th November|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Munster|
|Sunday 30th November|
|16:00||Glasgow vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com