Not a single penalty awarded to poor Kings in Munster thumping

Not a single penalty awarded to poor Kings in Munster thumping

Not a single point and not a single penalty awarded to them.

That sums up the drubbing of the Kings by a very clinical Munster side in Cork on Friday night which the South African side lost 0-43.

To blame for the huge points is a Kings side that again played for only one half of the match and a referee that made every marginal call to the home side ‒ and there were many of them which accounted for about half of the 15 penalties against.

It helped to break any stranglehold the visitors had and often brought relief to the home side at critical moments.

How is it possible that the Kings, who were as good as the hosts in the first half, weren’t awarded a single penalty? Were the Munster players, who had to defend for large periods in the first 40 minutes and got on the scoreboard with a break-away try, that perfect?

No transgressions? Unbelievable, and on this showing Italy's Andrea Piardi, who refereed his first PRO14 match, will hopefully not referee to many fixtures at this level in future.

Munster’s second try came after Ruan Lerm was yellow-carded just before halftime for a perfectly legal clean-out in a ruck, and the Kings went into the break undeservedly behind at 0-12 after putting Munster under pressure at forward for most of the half.

But the Kings, despite rather good defence, also had too many soft moments and too many deserved penalties against them to keep up the good work against the strong wind. Poor discipline and scrummaging remain major problems.

The Kings were also one-dimensional and predictable. They were down 0-12 at halftime in a 40-minute period where they did little more than carrying the ball around the fringes to work their way up field. There was little use of their backline, then and later in the match, where speed with lots of good possession may have brought rewards.

They could not make their early superiority count, and Munster made them pay with one of their first entries into the Kings 22.

Yes, the ref was an irritating and unfair factor, but the best side won because of soft moments on the South Africans’ side, with no cleared example needed than with their very last move. An attempt to run from 15 metres out, was intercepted for Munster’s seventh try.

There were three yellow cards, eight or so of the 15 awarded penalties deserved and a total failure to employ other tactics than merely driving the ball up with their forwards, a ploy that lost its effect after about 30 minutes.

Jean Kleyn, former Stormers lock, was the Man of the Match.

Scorers ‒

Munster (12) 43: Tries: Neil Cronin, Rory Scannell, Andrew Conway, Darren Sweetnam, Barry Holland, Rhys Marshall, Jean Kleyn, Rory Scannell. Conversions: Scannell (4).
Southern Kings (0) 0.