Seemingly in search of a comfortable win with a bonus point at the break, the hosts struggled in the second half as Johann van Graan’s young and inexperienced Munster side missed out on a number of Irish internationals , fought back bravely to almost snatch an unlikely victory.

That was not to be the case though, as the Vodacom Bulls – playing with 14 men for the final 10 minutes of the game after Bismarck du Plessis was shown a red card – defended bravely to ensure they took the points offered, complete with Chris Smith’s impeccable kicking display. the big difference.

The Vodacom Bulls made far too many unforced errors, such as kicks going straight into the sidelines, restarts not clearly winners and forced passes going to the ground, which not only cost them continuity, but also allowed in Munster to breathe at crucial stages of the match.

The clash went off at a gallop, with the sides exchanging goals from the penalty spot and the hosts taking a 6-3 lead in the 10th minute, after which Munster captain Jack O’Donoghue (flanker) was sent off for that which looked like a big maul try. , but match officials spotted an infraction and the Vodacom Bulls breathed a sigh of relief.

Five minutes later the men in blue put up effective attacking play and although there was some luck when the ball was stripped of Marcell Coetzee (flanker) it landed in the hands of Madosh Tambwe, with the speedster – who was named Player of the Match – on a couple of tackles to score the game’s first try.

Smith (flying half) added his third successful spot-kick to push the hosts ahead 13-3, and the Vodacom Bulls fly-half then netted two more from the penalty spot to extend the lead for his side at 19-3 as they capitalized on poor discipline by the visitors, who lost their No.8 Alex Kendellen to the trash for an unarmed tackle.

With an extra man on the pitch, the Vodacom Bulls took just four minutes to score their second try, this time with Walt Steenkamp (lock) crashing after a few precision shots from his outside backs. Smith’s conversion pushed the hosts into a 26-3 lead which remained that way until the break.

The Vodacom Bulls failed to build on that momentum in the second half and put Munster back with three tries, through Kendellen in the 54th minute, and Springbok cross Damian de Allende 10 minutes later. to close the gap to 29-17.

The visitors’ second try may have been a bit fortuitous after the hosts interrupted an attacking line-out from Munster, but the rebounding ball beat the Vodacom Bulls defenders for Bok’s midfielder to pounce.

When Du Plessis, the Vodacom Bulls substitute hooker, was sent off for foul play with 10 minutes to go, Munster surged almost immediately, O’Donoghue going over the top after relentless attacking play from the visitors, but they didn’t failed to land the shot. -out punch and the relieved hosts took the four log points.

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