Priestland's miss lets Munster off the hook

Munster 19 Scarlets 13

Thomond Park

They may not be the great entertainers or the most attractive side to watch but its hard not to sit back and admire Munster's ability to win Heineken Cup matches like this one against the Scarlets yesterday.

The home side kept their impressive winning record in this season's Heineken Cup and are on course for a quarter-finals place after they notched up their 14th successive victory over the Scarlets. This was a typically streetwise performance to grind out a 16th home win but they did not have it all their own way against a visiting side who got a bonus point in defeat to keep their own qualifications hopes alive The Welsh team will be kicking themselves after they carved out numerous opportunities and were far the more dangerous side but they made critical unforced errors which ultimately robbed them of a win.

Munster, who have been written off by the world and his wife this season, had a lineout which stuttered all afternoon but still had too much rugby intelligence and sheer stubbornness for a young Scarlets outfit.

The two-times champions, who lifted European rugby's biggest prize in 2006 and 2008, are one of two teams, along with four-times winners Toulouse, who have a won all four Pool games in this season's tournament so far. The Scarlets, who were without Wales' giant wing George North for a second week running due to injury, had lost the first game of the double header between the two sides by 17-14 at Parc Y Scarlets last weekend.

The Welsh region dominated territory and possession in the opening exchanges with centre Jonathan Davies a constant thorn in the home side's defence but it was 3-3 midway through the first half thanks to a penalty each by Ronan O'Gara and Stephen Jones.

But it was O'Gara's ever reliable boot which saw the Irish side, after Jones had missed with an earlier touchline penalty, go in 6-3 ahead, having been on the backfoot for most of the first half.

The game then turned on a easy missed penalty by Rhys Priestland, who moved to No 10 from full-back when Jones did not return after half-time due to heavy knock, and Munster went right up the other end and scored the game's first try. Connor Murray launched a counter attack before No 8 James Coughlan scored a trademark Munster try from a driving lineout to put the Irish province 16-3 ahead at the start of the second half.

The Scarlets refused to buckle and replacement hooker Ken Owens crashed over for a try to ensure a critical losing bonus point.

The Welsh side are still in the mix for a place in the last eight, but they will have left Thomond Park knowing they had thrown away a real chance to end their awful run of defeats to Munster.

Scorers: Munster: Try J Coughlan; Conversion R O'Gara; Penalties O'Gara 4. Scarlets: Try K Owens; Con R Priestland; Pens S Jones, R Priestland.

Munster: D Hurley; J Murphy, K Earls, L Mafi, S Zebo; R O'Gara, C Murray (T O'Leary, 63); W du Preez (M Horan 71), D Varley, B Botha, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell (capt), D Leamy, N Ronan, J Coughlan (T O'Donnell, 76)

Scarlets: R Priestland; L Williams (G Maule, 63), S Williams, J Davies, S Lamont; S Jones (V Iongi, 41), G Davies (T Knoyle, 66); R Jones (P John, 66), M Rees (capt) (K Owens, 63), R Thomas, L Reed, D Welch (S Timani, 66), R McCusker, J Edwards (K Murphy, 71), B Morgan.

Referee: D Pearson (England)

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits