Scarlets lift PRO12 trophy following dominant display against Munster
- Author: Julie Sanders May 27, 2017,
May 27, 2017, 22:58
Munster have named the same starting 15 for Saturday's PRO12 Final against Scarlets, from the one that defeated Ospreys last weekend.
For the Scarlets, who lost their first three games of the season, it was a second PRO12 victory, as they added to their 2004 win in sensational style.
This record defeat was a hugely disappointing way for Munster to sign off on an emotional season with the sudden passing of head coach Anthony Foley in October.
Donnacha Ryan will win his 167th and final Munster cap, with outside centre Francis Saili and replacement Jean Deysel also set for their final involvement with the province.
In the absence of Ken Owens, Scarlets will again be led by John Barclay and they have Steff Evans available after his semifinal red card was rescinded earlier this week.
Both sides began according to script with Munster kicking and Scarlets running the ball.
A converted 39th-minute score from Tyler Bleyendaal, adding to his early penalty, cut the deficit to 19 points for a rather shell-shocked Munster, who were wearing their changed navy strip.
Laura-Jane Jones headed to Parc Y Scarlets to catch up over coffee with Rob Evans, Jonathan Davies, John Barclay and resident barista, Scott Williams.
Munster did a small degree of respectability on the scoreboard late on wingers Andrew Conway crossed for two late tries for the home side.
Where to watch Munster vs Scarlets?
Before being sent from the field in the 37th minute, Evans was a stand-out performer for his side, scoring the first of Scarlets' three first-half tries, and put in a try and possibly game-saving tackle on Jack McGrath.
And when Munster went off their feet at a ruck, Patchell, who was pipped for man of the match by Aaron Shingler, extended the lead to 8-3.
It was nearly a carbon copy of his try against Leinster last week, and seconds later an identical breakaway ended in a knock-on decision with the try line beckoning.
That reprieve didn't last long, however, as Scott Williams walked through the line and found Gareth Davies who was afforded a clear run in to make it 22-3. So we just have to get it right on the day!
The crowd roared, desperate to exercise their voices after the most chastening 40 minutes in recent memory.
Indeed, Munster's efforts looked half-hearted from there on in with the Llanelli-based side continuing to dominate the exchanges at the breakdown and winning the kicking battles.
Former Leinster lock Beirne twisted out of tackles from Dave Kilcoyne and CJ Stander to crash over for try number four, before a late Munster rally saw Conor Murray release his half-back partner to go over close to the posts.
The Welsh region grabbed a fifth try in the 70th minute when replacement DTH van der Merwe flew over for a fifth try. A second quickly followed following an Earls intercept, but Scarlets deservedly had the final say thanks to flanker James Davies.