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Munster make light work of Scarlets

By PA

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Munster maintained their perfect start to the United Rugby Championship season as they ran in six tries on their way to a convincingly 43-13 win at Scarlets.

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The Irish province lacked most of their first-choice players but they still possessed too much firepower for a disappointing full-strength Scarlets, who capitulated after the interval.

Liam Coombes scored two tries for Munster, with Jack O’Sullivan, Chris Cloete, Calvin Nash and Jeremy Loughman also crossing and Ben Healy added five conversions and a penalty.

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Johnny McNicholl scored Scarlets’ try with Sam Costelow kicking two penalties and a conversion.

Munster took a third-minute lead with a try from number eight O’Sullivan. An excellent kick from Healy secured his side a platform in the home 22 from where O’Sullivan ran a clever line before taking Neil Cronin’s pass and evading Ken Owens’ tackle to score.

Costelow squandered a chance to put Scarlets on the scoreboard by missing a 30-metre kick before Healy extended Munster’s lead with a straightforward penalty.

The home side looked to have responded in style when Steff Evans finished off a flowing three-quarter move but TMO replays showed an earlier knock-on from Scarlets.

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However, they did get their first points from a Costelow penalty but the hosts still trailed 7-3 at the end of the first quarter despite having the advantage of a keen breeze.

Munster added to Scarlets’ problems by scoring an excellent second try when Calvin Nash powered past a week tackle from Steff Evans to provide Coombes with an easy run-in.

Scarlets suffered another blow when centre Scott Williams departed with an injury to be replaced by Johnny Williams.

The hosts looked in trouble but they responded with their first try when a kick bounced favourably for Costelow to collect. The fly-half then kicked ahead for McNicholl to easily win the race to touchdown.

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Costelow converted and added a penalty but just before the interval, Nash raced over to give the Irish a 22-13 half-time lead.

Four minutes after the restart, Munster scored their bonus-point try when Loughman forced his way over from close range.

Scarlets rang the changes but it made no difference as Coombes scored his second and Cloete Munster’s sixth as the home defence became ever more porous to complete an embarrassing afternoon for Scarlets.

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