Munster did well to recover from a disastrous start in northern Italy in their 40-30 win on Saturday over Benetton, but head coach Graham Rowntree is demanding a massive improvement in their discipline despite being pleased with the way they recovered.
The visitors were down to 14 men for 20 minutes of the second half after picking up two yellow cards. While the outcome was never really in doubt, it helped the Treviso side get a try bonus point which could yet be invaluable in the race for knockout and Champions Cup places. “We have to still look at our discipline. We need 15 players on the field at any one time, so we will have a look at that. I am proud of how we came back, but we have to look at our discipline,” he said after an invaluable win that puts them above Benetton in the URC table.
Both sides were missing their Six Nations players, but Munster made their job considerably more difficult when they fell 12-0 behind inside 13 minutes at Stadio Monigo before rallying to take control.
“I am relieved. We dug in there. It could have gotten away from us. They played fantastically well, Treviso, but we have got to look at our discipline going forward.
“They got a try bonus at the end there, but it was always going to be an important game for us,” he added after their seventh league win in 13 games.
Early tries from centre Marco Zanon and winger Ignacio Mendy pushed the Italians into a commanding lead, but Munster, with John Hodnett leading the way, came storming back.
Calvin Nash chipped and chased to send scrum-half Paddy Patterson over. Joey Carbery went to full-back when Ben Healy came on for the injured Nash, but while Hodnett put Jack O’Sullivan through for a try, they trailed 15-14 at the break.
Munster dominated the second half despite playing half of it with 14 men.
Hodnett scored after going wide on the left before Jean Kleyn pushed through No 8 Henry Stowers to secure the bonus point. Carbery’s fourth conversion made it 28-18 after 50 minutes. Healy, having also been binned the previous week in Toulouse, returned from a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on, but Munster remained down to 14 men when replacement hooker Barron picked up a yellow card for a ruck offence, and this time, Benetton punished them with Mendy getting his second try in the right corner after they went wide.
Carbery missed his first kick of the day with a 65th-minute penalty before a superb cross-kick from Healy set up Antoine Frisch for their fifth try and Healy was also the creator to send Carbery over four minutes from time to seal a fine win.
Benetton managed a try to bag a bonus point in the final play, which could yet prove crucial in the battle for knockout places when Mendy completed his hat-trick in the right corner at the end of a very entertaining game played in front of a crowd of 4,082 in Treviso.