Meek Munster swallowed whole by voracious Sharks
SHARKS 50-35 MUNSTER
For the second weekend in a row, Munster conceded a hatful of points and were comprehensively beaten with a large chunk of the match still to go.
After two ruthless flakings, at the hands of Glasgow and Sharks, they will need to dig deep to stay in the hunt for a first trophy in 12 years. The Champions Cup is off the table, though, after Sharks ran amok during the second half of their Last 16 encounter, in Durban.
Munster led 7-3 after an early Shane Daly try but the home side, stacked with World Cup winners, were physically dominant and playing with more ambition. They scored through Jaden Hendrikse and Eben Etzebeth to lead 17-7 before Dave Kilcoyne crashed over for a converted score that made it 17-14 at the break.
That was as close as it was ever going to get for Rowntree's men.
Sharks savage Munster in second half
Two lineout drives in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, both scored by hooker Bongi Mbonambi, effectively ended the knock-out game as a contest.
Winger Werner Kok was having fun at Hollywood Bets Stadium and he rampaged into space, out wide, and ignored the support runners to cruise over and dot down. When Curwin Bosch helped himself to a try, after a Munster attack broke down, it was starting to get ugly - 43-14.
Replacement hooker Diarmuid Barron bulled over for a try that was already a consolation score, even though we had 20 minutes to play. Makazole Mapimpi responded with another Sharks try after an attempted Malakai Fekitoa offload went loose and the winger snatched it up.
That try was converted, to bring up 50 points for Sharks.
Mike Haley and Fineen Wycherley got over for late scores but it was not enough to mask what a meek, ugly defeat this was for the two-time champions.
Sharks join Leicester Tigers in the quarter finals while Munster must get themselves going again to finish the United Rugby Championship on a higher note.
WATCH HOUSE OF RUGBY HERE:
- Seven Ireland stars make Sam Warburton's Six Nations team of the tournament
- Antoine Dupont equals Brian O'Driscoll record with Six Nations 'Best Player' award
- James Lowe challenges Ireland's Grand Slam winners to scale even greater heights
- Johnny Sexton was never going to let Mack Hansen forget his Grand Slam tattoo idea