URC result: Munster beat Stormers in dreadful weather conditions
It was a messy encounter in dreadful conditions and the Stormers were unable to capitalise on their few chances as they fell to a defeat.
Stormers loose forward Ben-Jason Dixon is brought down by the Ulster defence during their URC clash at Thomond Park in Limerick on Saturday night. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Gallo Images
It was supposed to be an entertaining match between the previous two United Rugby Championship (URC) winners, but turned out to be a boring stop-start clash of few chances due to some dreadful weather conditions as Munster clinched a 10-3 win over the Stormers at Thomond Park in Limerick on Saturday night.
The Stormers went into the game as underdogs, having never beaten Munster in the competition, including losing last season’s final in Cape Town, and with the hosts welcoming back a number of internationals it was always going to be a tall ask.
But they stuck in the game, despite a strong driving rain throughout the match making for little action, and the hosts had to dig deep in the end to secure a tight win.
It was a first half of few chances, thanks largely to the dreadful weather conditions that saw pouring rain and wind over the opening 40 minutes.
Munster thus took their first opportunity to get on the board as flyhalf Jack Crowley slotted a penalty from in front of the uprights in the 14th minute for a 3-0 lead.
The Stormers had a chance to level the scores in the 20th minute with a penalty of their own, but from distance and towards the touchline in tough conditions, inside centre Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu saw his shot curl wide.
Both teams struggled to get any ascendancy, with a number of knock-ons and penalties making it a stop-start game, but as they went towards halftime the hosts managed to build some good momentum in the visitors 22m.
This led to a number of penalties and lineouts and after being warned for repeated infringements at the maul, Stormers captain Neethling Fouche was shown a yellow card in the 38th minute.
Munster capitalised on the extra man immediately, as they kicked to the corner again, secured the lineout and hammered away at the line until lock Edwin Edogbo smashed over from close range for a converted score and 10-0 lead at the break.
The Stormers got off to a strong start in the second half, with good territory and possession eventually rewarded by 45th minute Feinberg-Mngomezulu penalty.
After gaining some good ascendancy at the scrum, the Stormers had a golden opportunity to score a try in the 55th minute, but after three scrum penalties, and one that stayed stable, eighthman Evan Roos was held up over the line.
Feinberg-Mngomezulu then tried an ambitious drop goal attempt from the goal line drop out, but pulled his attempt wide as Munster barely escaped unscathed from a big period of pressure.
The difficult and messy conditions then contributed to a poor spectacle over the final 20 minutes of the match as neither side really threatened the other, leading to that early penalty being the only points of the entire second half, as Munster held on for the win.
Munster: Try – Edwin Edogbo; Conversion – Jack Crowley; Penalty – Crowley
Stormers: Penalty – Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu