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Liam Williams' injury takes shine off rare Cardiff win over Munster

By PA
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Cardiff kicked off their new URC campaign with a first victory over Munster in four years, winning 20-13 at the Arms Park despite an injury to new signing Liam Williams. Tries from Max Llewellyn, Kristian Dacey and Aled Summerhill saw the Blue and Blacks over the line, while Jarrod Evans contributed five points from the kicking tee. Jack O’Sullivan scored Munster’s only try, with Ben Healy and Jack Crowley kicking eight points between them.

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It took Cardiff just four minutes to score the opening try, with a weak tackle from Munster lock Fineen Wycherley allowing Llewellyn to get back up on his feet to run in unopposed from 25 metres out. Munster’s game was littered with handling errors, but they finally got on the board when Healy smashed over a difficult penalty.

Cardiff were dealt a significant blow when summer signing Williams was forced off the field with his arm in a sling. The Irish province then looked almost certain to score after Shane Daly danced his way past Evans before offloading to Liam Coombes, who was stopped centimetres short of the line.

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Cardiff’s scramble defence was excellent, meaning Munster had to make do with three points from Healy’s boot which put them into the lead against the run of play, but the hosts hit back on the stroke of half-time when a well-timed inside ball from hooker Dacey sent Llewellyn charging through a gap.

The big centre proceeded to draw in the last Munster defender to put Dacey over for the try. Evans converted, meaning Munster turned around 12-6 behind at the interval. Cardiff did not make the most of their territorial advantage and it cost them early in the second half. Munster won a penalty at the breakdown and booted the ball deep into the hosts’ half.

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The visitors went through the phases and, after a period of sustained pressure on the Cardiff line, O’Sullivan powered over from short range. Crowley added the extras to put Munster into the lead with only 15 minutes left. But Evans soon nudged Cardiff back in front from the tee before some wonderful footwork from Uilisi Halaholo sent Summerhill over for the decisive try.

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