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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
|Sunday 1st February|
|14:30||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Exeter|
|Sunday 8th February|
|14:30||Newport Gwent D'gons vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 15th February|
|15:00||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht|
|Sunday 1st March|
|17:00||Zebre vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ulster|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Saturday 25th April|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 9th May|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Edinburgh|
|Saturday 24th January|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 30 - 19 Stade Francais|
|Saturday 17th January|
|Newcastle 29 - 40 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Sunday 11th January|
|Ospreys 22 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Friday 12th December|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 69 - 17 Bucuresti|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com