Rassie Erasmus was left a happy man after watching his Munster side claim a Guinness PRO12 opening-day 23-13 win over Scarlets.
Munster weathered an early onslaught from Wayne Pivac’s side at the Parc y Scarlets as the home side’s star-studded back division looked to impress in front of Wales coach Warren Gatland.
Full-back Liam Williams – who shone in Wales’ Test series loss to the All Blacks this summer – was prominent in the early exchanges, but the Scarlets failed to convert their chances.
James Cronin and Ronan O’Mahony grabbed first-half scores to ease Munster into the lead and though Gareth Davies scored a fine individual score, Tyler Bleyendaal kicked an absolutely vital 13 points.
Rhys Patchell kicked eight points on his Scarlets debut alongside Davies, while Jonathan Davies made his return to Guinness PRO12 action after a two-year spell with Clermont Auvergne from the bench.
Back-row Tommy O’Donnell turned in a superb shift for Munster as he was named Man of the Match and South African Erasmus, who joined the Irish province this summer, was pleased to claim an away win first up.
“That was a very pleasing start, Munster have not won here for a few years so it is great to get that on the board,” Erasmus said.
“There are plenty of things to work to do, we know that was not the perfect performance but the guys dug in really well and we took our tries well and showed some good physicality.”
Guinness PRO12 Final 2017 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 adults and €5 child, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie. For further information visit http://www.pro12rugby.com/final