Munster had no answer for an impressive Gloucester side, who showed their superiority as Zurich Premership leaders in an emphatic 35 – 16 win today at Kingsholm.
Both sides started out evenly, with a stalemate in scoring until the 20th minute when Mercier made amends for a missed kick in the opening minutes, putting over a penalty in front of the Munster posts, bringing it to 3-0. Minutes later O’ Gara battled the strong breeze to level the score with a penalty.
Gloucester scored another penalty before Marcel Garvey went over the line for the first try of the game. Mercier converted to give Gloucester a 13-3 lead. O’ Gara and Mercier swapped scores for the remainder of the half with the teams going in at half time on a scoreline of Gloucester 16, Munster 9.
The first quarter of the second half was played in the Munster half. Gloucester put the Munster defence under severe pressure but failed to capitalise on numerous opportunities. The Munster defence finally succumbed, with South African, Jake Boer going over the Munster line. Mercier converted for a 23-9 lead. Mercier showed another element of his sporting prowess, as he too went over the line for a try soon after his French team-mate, and then went on to convert to bring the score to 30 – 9, leaving Munster with a lot of ground to recover.
Despite the deficit, Munster continued to defend valiantly, preventing Gloucester from notching up a few more points. However, Boer managed to edge across the line for his second of the game, with all seemingly lost for the Munster men.
Stringer managed to shed a little light on the situation with a gutsy try under the posts. O’ Gara converted bringing the score to a more respectable 35 – 16.
Munster will try to put this defeat behind them and look forward to playing in Thomond next weekend.