Three penalties from Ronan in the first half and two from Stephen Jones saw a nail biting first half end at 9 points to 6 in Munsters favour. Ronan was not only strong in his place kicking, his out of hand play was also a joy to watch, and I am sure that he has without a doubt secured his position at No.10 for Ireland when they meet Romania next Saturday in Thomond Park.
The second half again was dominated by Ronan's kicking but also by tremendous line-out play by Mick O'Driscoll and Donnacha O'Callaghan. Two more penalties by O'Gara widened the gap between the teams with Munster leading 15-6. Dominic Crotty was replaced by Jeremy Staunton in the 57th minute. Stephen Jones missed a crucial and out of character penalty, as Mike Mullins was sin binned for a high tackle.. But with Munster down to 14 men Llanelli upped the pace and put severe pressure on the Munster line, It was not long before the Munster defence broke down as Mark Jones touched down for a fine try. Stephen Jones converted from the sideline to leave the score at 15-13.
As Llanelli continued to put pressure on Munster it looked as if it was going to end in their favour. But in the 79th minute a great tackle by Marcus Horan released the ball to Ronan O'Gara, and with a beautiful cross field kick towards Mossie Lawlor saw the youngster touch down to secure the Munster Win!.
(Dominic Crotty - Replaced by Jeremy Staunton), (John Kelly), (Mike Mullins), (Rob Henderson), (Mossie Lawlor), (Ronan O'Gara), (Peter Stringer), (Marcus Horan), (James Blaney), (John Hayes), (Donnacha O'Callaghan), (Mick O'Driscoll), (Eddie Halvey - Replaced by Colm McMahon), (Alan Quinlan), (Anthony Foley) (Capt.).
Replacements - (John Fogarty), (Simon Kerr), (Mick Galwey), (Dominic Malone), (Jason Holland).
(Garan Evans), (Mark Jones), (Matthew J Watkins), (Matt Cardey), (Salesi Finau), (Stephen Jones), (Guy Easterby), (Scott Quinnell), (Ian Boobyer), (Simon Easterby), (Paul Clapham), (Vernon Cooper) (Capt), (Martyn Madden), (Robin McBryde), (Iestyn Thomas)
Replacements - (John Davies), (Marcus Thomas), (Bryn Griffiths), (Dafydd Jones), (Dwayne Peel), (Gareth Bowen), (Barry Davies).
Ronan O'Gara (5 penalties), Mossie Lawlor (Try), Stephen Jones (2 pen, 1 conv), Mark Jones (Try).
Munster 20 - Llanelli 13