RaboDirect PRO12: Casey Laulala's try gave Munster a late win over Cardiff
Last Updated: 03/11/12 8:29pm
Casey Laulala's 78th-minute try help Munster secure a 24-18 RaboDirect PRO 12 victory and condemn Cardiff Blues to a sixth straight loss.
Tommy O'Donnell scored a brace for Munster, although tries from Dafydd Hewitt and Lewis Jones ensured the home side led by a point in the second half.
However, they were unable to hang on with former Blues centre touching down and Ronan O'Gara's conversion settling the destination of the points.
Although Jason Tovey missed a touchline penalty in the second minute, he was spot-on when given a second chance. Irish hit back immediately, spreading the ball across field with both centres featuring before number eight O'Donnell trotted over on the left, with O'Gara converting.
The former British and Irish Lion saw a yellow card minutes later, however, when he illegally prevented the Blues capitalising on a breakaway by Robin Copeland.
Munster survived their spell with 14 men after Cardiff butchered an overlap following a kick-and-chase by full-back Dan Fish. O'Gara rubbed it in with a simple penalty to extend the visitors' lead before the break, but the Blues were level six minutes into the second period.
Ceri Sweeney replaced the ineffectual Tovey at fly-half and, with his first touch, fed centre Hewitt, who burst through to touch down. Sweeney converted.
Midway through the half Sweeney slotted over a straightforward penalty, but the home side's lead was short-lived as O'Donnell smashed through weak tackling to score under the posts, with O'Gara once again adding the extras.
Peter Springer, on as a substitute, had a kick charged down at the base of a scrum and opposite number Lewis Jones darted clear to score although Sweeney's kick drifted wide.
Just as the Blues fans were preparing to celebrate a much needed victory, however, Laulala evaded clutching hands to reach the line and O'Gara hammered the final nail in the coffin.