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Taute scores twice as Munster ease past the Dragons

Munster demonstrated why they are top of the Guinness PRO12 table with a 45-17 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at Irish Independent Park.

Jaco Taute scored two tries with Andrew Conway and a penalty try giving the home side the try bonus point on the stroke of half time.

Rhys Buckley and Elliot Dee touched down in reply for the Dragons but Dave Kilcoyne and Ronan O’Mahony added try numbers five and six.

Munster, who had fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal kick 15 points, maintained their one-point advantage over Ospreys, who secured a try bonus point over Zebre, at the top of the league.

Tyler Bleyendaal and Dorian Jones exchanged penalties in the opening ten minutes before Taute found a whole in the Dragons defence.

He touched down with 13 minutes gone after good work in the build up from Rhys Marshall with Bleyendaal adding the extra to put the league leaders 10-3 up.

And Munster had their second try soon after when Bleyendaal intercepted a Dragons pass and chipped the ball ahead for full-back Conway to collect and touchdown.

Bleyendaal added the extras and Munster were 17-3 ahead with 20 minutes played.

Taute crashed over from close range for his second, and Munster’s third try, just before the half hour with Bleyendaal once again on target with his boot.

The Dragons fought back and had their first try of the evening through Buckley as he forced his way over at the tail of a driving lineout with Jones slotting the extras.

But the visitors were reduced to 14 men when the TMO adjudged full-back Carl Meyer’s knock on to have been deliberate and a penalty try was awarded to Munster.

Bleyendaal added the extras once more to give Munster a 31-10 half-time lead with the bonus point already secured.

Darren O’Shea was shown a yellow card five minutes into the second half and the Dragons made it as they drove a scrum over the try line with replacement Dee touching down.

Jones converted to make it 31-17 but Kilcoyne crashed over for the hosts’ fifth try of the evening with 63 minutes gone which Bleyendaal converted to make it 38-17.

O’Mahony added further gloss to the Munster performance by getting the sixth try in the final play of the game with Bleyendaal keeping his 100 per cent record from the tee.

Guinness PRO12 Final 2017, 27th May, Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Ticket Information: Fans can still avail of an exclusive number of €30 tickets. Book via www.ticketmaster.ie. Further information: www.pro12rugby.com/final

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