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Saturday 10 December 2016

Fish lands late try to net the spoils for Blues

Munster 23 Cardiff 24

Munster’s Niall Scannell is tackled by Cardiff’s Gareth Anscombe. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Munster’s Niall Scannell is tackled by Cardiff’s Gareth Anscombe. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Munster fell to their first defeat of the season in the PRO12 at Irish Independent Park last night.

Cardiff came heavy handed with Wales internationals to turn Rassie Erasmus's home debut into a nightmare.

It took all of Darren Sweetnam's speed to take Tom James into touch and Andrew Conway just about got a hold of the breaking Gareth Anscombe. Dan Fish left James Cronin and Tommy O'Donnell grasping air.

Something had to give and James cracked Munster for Anscombe to convert.

The skills of Sweetnam opened the way for Conway to ground the ball and Ian Keatley to square it from Munster's first attack.

Deathly silence greeted Anscombe's restoration of the lead from a penalty before Keatley struck back on the half-hour.

A crude act of obstruction by Gethin Jenkins caused referee Ian Davies to rule out Ellis Jenkins' try.

No matter, the Blues quickly came again for wing James to pierce the cover and Anscombe to guarantee a seven-point lead at the break.

The introduction of CJ Stander was complemented by Munster's takeover at the scrum for Keatley to land a 55th minute penalty.

Soon, they were in front from James Cronin's close-range finish for Keatley to make it 20-17 in the 62nd minute.

For all of Munster's graft, Matthew Morgan worked his magic for Fish to finish in style, Anscombe's conversion making Keatley's late penalty redundant.

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