Munster mash Montauban
Munster made sure of a home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup with a comprehensive 39-13 victory over Montauban.
Last Updated: 25/01/09 6:57pm
Munster made sure of a home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup in fine style with a comprehensive 39-13 victory over Montauban.
The defending champions ran in five tries to clinch a bonus-point success in the south of France as the Pool One tie finally took place.
Gale-force winds at the Stade de Sapiac had forced the contest to be postponed by 24 hours on safety grounds.
With Sunday's weather much clearer, Munster breezed to an away victory with a disciplined and professional display.
Already certain of top spot in their group following last Friday's success over Sale, the Magners League side had to endure a shaky start before taking firm control against a team that had pushed them close on the opening weekend.
Julien Audy made amends for an earlier penalty miss when he slotted over three points from the touchline to break the deadlock after 10 minutes.
His second successful kick made it 6-0 to Montauban before the double European champions hit back with a try from Tomas O'Leary.
English referee Dave Pearson opted to consult with television match official David Matthews, who awarded the score after a burst from the back of a scrum had seen the scrum-half scramble over in the right corner.
O'Gara converted and then slotted over a penalty to put the visitors 10-6 in front after an infringement by Ibrahim Diarra.
The score remained the same until three minutes after the interval when Lifeimi Mafi bagged the first of his brace.
Knowing their European campaign was coming to an end, Montauban threw caution to the wind to make it an open, expansive game.
Livewire O'Leary made the most of the sudden space to set up Mafi's second after 53 minutes, giving Munster a comfortable cushion.
The hosts did manage to hit back with a try of their own from Scottish lock Scott Murray, who sliced through the defensive line to score under the posts.
Petre Mitu's conversion reduced the deficit to 22-13 but O'Gara added another penalty in the 67th minute before Barry Murphy came off the bench to help himself to a quick-fire double.
Replacing the injured Keith Earls, the utility back pounced on O'Gara's kick-through to seal the bonus point before adding his second right at the death.