Morgan exposes Munster's lack of fight

Cardiff Blues 60 Munster 14
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The Independent Online

Cardiff Blues handed an under-strength Munster their worst ever Celtic League defeat, running in nine tries in a superb display of open rugby.

Cardiff Blues handed an under-strength Munster their worst ever Celtic League defeat, running in nine tries in a superb display of open rugby.

Wing Craig Morgan claimed a first-half hat-trick as the Blues enjoyed themselves despite the rain.

The Blues, still hoping to clinch the last place for a Welsh club in next year's Heineken Cup, were looking for a bonus point against a Munster line-up showing nine changes from the team beaten by Wasps last Sunday in European competition.

And they had that point in the bag by half-time, with five excellent tries.

Blues scrum-half Ryan Powell hobbled off after just seven minutes but the first move to involve his replacement, Dean Dewdney, brought the opening try.

After play had spread back and forth across the field, skipper Martyn Williams retrieved a wayward pass from namesake Rhys to put Morgan over.

A superb break by Jamie Robinson created a try for Canadian flanker Dan Baugh, while the centre claimed the next after Iestyn Harris danced through the Irish defence.

Morgan raced over twice more before the interval while Munster responded with two from outstanding centre Rob Henderson, each time going under the posts after some weak tackling.

Brilliant handling to open the second half saw the Blues' other winger, Tom Shanklin, get in on the act.

With Harris, who had missed his early kicks, putting them over from the touchline the Blues were putting the game was out of Munster's reach.

The loss of lock Donnacha O'Callaghan to the sin bin did not help and his opposite number, Heino Senekal, drove over for the Blues' seventh touchdown.

Tireless flanker Williams sent the tally past the half-century before Robinson showed great speed to out-flank the visiting defence and send Shanklin in.

Munster kept trying until the end but only the irrepressible Henderson provided any sort of threat as his colleagues spent the evening chasing shadows.

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