Thursday 14 December 2017

Munster's Treviso rout leaves McGahan bouncing

TONY McGAHAN had every reason to be satisfied come the end of Saturday's impressive 35-14 victory in Italy.

Not only had Munster secured their first away win in the competition since September, but they also became the first side to register a bonus point win against Treviso at the Stadio Monigo this season.

Tries by Danny Barnes, Johne Murphy and a brace by Simon Zebo warmed the travelling brigade.

Throw into the mix the return from injury of Felix Jones and the post-match clean bill of health, and it was easy to see why McGahan was happy.

"We're really delighted with the performance," he said. "We've been out of rugby for the last four weeks, so to come to Treviso and get a bonus point is exceptionally pleasing."

Of the players to make a mark in the Venetian outpost, Zebo was once again top of the bill as he made it six tries in three games (including one for the Irish Wolfhounds against the Saxons).

Both his tries on Saturday had the stamp of a winger who is nearing a Test start, his lack of years notwithstanding.

"Simon is certainly a very important strike player for us," said McGahan.

Another man clearly not lacking in motivation was Peter O'Mahony.

"He's a young man who is going places," added McGahan.

Ronan O'Gara issued Ireland coach Declan Kidney with a gentle reminder of his marksmanship by kicking everything that came his way in a 15-point haul.

Meanwhile, Munster say out-of-favour Ireland scrum-half Tomás O'Leary had not yet signed on the dotted line for Perpignan, despite reports of the contrary from France.

Connacht have had a poor return all season with the boot, but Niall O'Connor delivered the goods in their PRO12 clash with Glasgow at a windy Sportsground on Saturday.

O'Connor, who had missed two kicks with the wind at his back in the first half, lofted a penalty from 25 metres on the right wing to salvage a 13-all draw with the last kick of the match.

Wales today called up Ospreys forwards Alun Wyn Jones and Richard Hibbard to strengthen their ranks ahead of Saturday's Six Nations clash with England.

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