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Nottingham 12 vs Munster 23 - Match Report

Munster A showed their killer instinct to dent any hopes Nottingham may have had of causing an upset as a couple of late scores brought them a 23-12 win at Meadow Lane.

Munster Report

They had been the better side over the first half and deserved their 13-point lead, but a much-improved second half from Nottingham suggested a possible surprise over the final ten minutes.

The visitors simply upped their game though and swept any such hopes aside with a penalty and a late try to confirm their victory.

It was a game Nottingham certainly had opportunities to win having clawed their way back to within a point in that second period, but their finishing let them down with too many passes going astray.

When the Green and Whites were penalised at the game's first scrum the visitors hoofed the ball downfield for a lineout deep in the home 22, where a second, more kickable penalty saw them take the lead courtesy of Johnny Holland.

Nottingham responded with a strong attack to force a close range lineout of their own, but were unable to get their trademark drive going and ended up conceding a scrum.

As Munster began to gain momentum another scrum penalty saw them double their lead on 24 minutes.

They quickly stretched further ahead when they outpaced the Nottingham defence to create an overlap for skipper Jack O'Donaghue to get the opening try, Holland's conversion making it 0-13 just before the half hour.

Nottingham's best attack of the half brought a penalty inside the Munster 22, and a yellow card for Sean McCarthy for taking a player out in the lineout. Again they went for touch but still could not find a way through and so went in at the break trailing by 13 points.

A good start to the second half saw the Green and Whites create an overlap down the right, but the final pass went into touch.

They kept play in the visitors' half though and forced a penalty, but Dan Mugford's kick sailed just wide.

A minute later Paul Grant took a quick tap penalty and showed impressive pace as he raced clear for a try in the left hand corner but Mugford was again off target with his conversion attempt.

Munster hit back to force a penalty but Holland put his kick wide and when Nottingham countered they suffered the same fate as Mugford missed his third kick of the evening.

The Nottingham pack was beginning to cause the Munster defence a few problems though and when they finally got a good drive going they forced their way over the line with Matt Everard getting the touchdown and replacement Will Maisey tagging on the conversion to bring them back to within a point at 12-13 with a little over ten minutes remaining.

By this stage Nottingham looked capable of going on to snatch a win, but the visitors stepped their game up and clinically put an end to such hopes.

A third Holland penalty, followed by a late try, and a second for O'Donaghue, which Holland also converted, gave Munster a 12-23 win.