Munster ‘A’ moved level with Plymouth Albion at the top of Pool 4 in the British & Irish Cup after a hard-fought 23-9 win over the English side on Friday night.
Ronan O'Mahony and CJ Stander scored the Munster 'A' tries at the Waterford Regional Sports Centre with out-half Johnny Holland having a perfect night with the kicking tee as he landed five out of five.
Munster 'A' started well and nearly scored a try in the opening minute through debutant Alex Wootton, but the winger was halted with a high tackle.
Holland kicked the penalty into the corner and Peter Malone's side kept the visitors pinned in their own 22. Holland eventually made the pressure tell with a penalty in the fifth minute to make it 3-0.
The visitors, 17-7 winners when the sides met last weekend, responded immediately and Dan Mugford converted his first penalty of the night. The out-halves traded further penalties for a 6-6 scoreline after 17 minutes.
Munster 'A' retook the lead after 23 minutes when full-back O'Mahony touched down in the left corner. David O'Callaghan and Stander made the hard yards before the ball was flung wide and after some great hands, O'Mahony blasted over for his fourth try in four British & Irish Cup games this season.
Holland split the posts with a superb conversion to make it 13-3 and that is how it stayed until the break.
The second half was a scrappy affair with neither side able to get any real rhythm going in their game.
Holland kicked the first points of the half after 46 minutes to make it 16-6 but the gap was reduced to seven by former Munster out-half Declan Cusack – a first half replacement – when he kicked his only penalty of the night.
Despite being within reach on the scoreboard, Plymouth were unable to force any sustained pressure on the Munster 'A' line and South African Stander crossed in the final minutes to seal the win.
The try came from a five-metre scrum, Stander made a break from the base of the scrum and with the support of the pack, the powerful number 8 went over in the left corner to put Munster 'A' out of reach.
Holland added the extras to complete the scoring in a deserved Munster 'A' victory. Young Munster centre Dan Goggin came on late in the game for his first appearance at this level.
Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)