Munster 45 Dragons 14

RYAN Woodman celebrated his first start with a try, but Dragons went down to a 45-14 defeat against Munster at Musgrave Park.

The Rodney Parade region were without 20 players, due to a combination of international call-ups and injury, for the trip to Cork to take on the reigning champions.

Ewan Rosser, Nathan Evans and Barny Langton-Cryer all made club debuts as Dragons showcased the young players at the club.

But they suffered a third successive defeat in the United Rugby Championship as Munster ran in seven tries to Dragons’ two.

The home side scored the opening try of the game as they broke from deep through Calvin Nash and he sent Rory Scannell over. Tony Butler converted for a 7-0 lead.

A second try followed soon afterwards as home No 8 Gavin Coombes burst through two tackles and over the line.

Dragons responded well and their pressure finally told as centurion Rhodri Williams broke and Dane Blacker produced a peach of a cross kick to Woodman to crash over.

Will Reed converted and Munster held a 17-7 lead at the interval.

Munster secured the try bonus just after the break when lock Tom Ahern broke over from close range after relentless pressure on the Dragons line.

The fifth try arrived just before the hour when some fantastic offloads freed up the space for scrum half Craig Casey to score.

Seán O’Brien had a try ruled out after he was shunted into touch by Williams. But it was no more than a reprieve as a poor lineout was snaffled up the home side and Brian Gleeson bulldozed over.

Nash grabbed his second of the night in the corner after a clever grubber kick through.

But Dragons had the final word as a big driving maul saw prop Aki Seiuli touch down and Reed convert off the left post.

Munster: Shane Daly; Seán O’Brien, Alex Nankivell, Rory Scannell, Calvin Nash; Tony Butler, Craig Casey; Kieran Ryan, Diarmuid Barron, John Ryan; Edwin Edogbo, Tom Ahern; Jack O’Donoghue, Alex Kendellen, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Scott Buckley, Mark Donnelly, Stephen Archer, Ruadhán Quinn, Brian Gleeson, Paddy Patterson, Jack Crowley, Ben O’Connor.

Dragons RFC: Angus O’Brien (Blacker 3), Corey Baldwin (E. Rosser 55), Steff Hughes, Jack Dixon (Owen 66), Ashton Hewitt (Baldwin 67), Will Reed, Rhodri Williams; Rhodri Jones (Seiuli 66), Bradley Roberts (Coghlan 66), Luke Yendle (Evans 64), Joe Davies, George Nott (Langton 66), Ryan Woodman, James Benjamin (Young 77), Taine Basham.

Replacements: Brodie Coghlan, Aki Seiuli, Nathan Evans, Barney Langton-Cryer, George Young, Dane Blacker, Aneurin Owen, Ewan Rosser.

Referee: Sam Grove-White