RaboDirect PRO12: Late Munster rally downs Scarlets
Last Updated: 21/12/13 10:32pm
JJ Hanrahan: kicked three penalties and a conversion for Munster
A last minute try from Ronan O'Mahony saw Munster clinch a 16-10 victory over a 13-man Scarlets side at Musgrave Park.
In a scrappy first half, where defences were on top, JJ Hanrahan and Aled Thomas traded penalties as the teams went into the interval level at 3-3.
John Barclay's try then gave the Welsh region a 10-3 lead before a pair of Hanrahan three-pointers set up a frantic finale.
And after Rob Evans and Mike Poole had received yellow cards for the visitors, O'Mahony touched down for the winning score.
Following their respective Heineken Cup excursions, both sides decided to make numerous changes for this encounter and that lack of continuity was particularly evident in the first half.
There was a lack of creativity on show, but Thomas did open the Scarlets' account after 14 minutes through a penalty. Although Hanrahan levelled matters with a three-pointer of his own, that proved to be the final score of the half.
Proceedings livened up significantly after the interval. The second period was just a minute old when Kristian Phillips broke down the right touchline and off-loaded to Rob McCusker.
Despite McCusker's surge being halted, the ball was fed to Thomas who spotted a gap and sent Barclay across the whitewash for a superb try.
Almost immediately Hanrahan reduced the deficit and added his third from the tee to take Munster to within one point of the visitors.
Munster continued to lift the intensity as the match entered its latter stages but, with an opportunity to win the game, their fly-half missed the target from a penalty chance.
However, the Irish province were boosted late on by the sin-binnings of Evans and Poole and the Welsh side eventually succumbed when O'Mahony crossed the line.