Munster secured their first win under Anthony Foley’s reign with an unconvincing 21-10 triumph over Benetton Treviso.
CJ Stander’s try and eight points from the boot of Ian Keatley took the Irish province into a 13-7 lead at the interval, while Simone Ragusi’s score gave Benetton hope.
But Ireland international Simon Zebo effectively ended that optimism when he crossed the whitewash.
Although Joe Carlisle reduced the deficit from the tee, Keatley’s penalty sealed the victory for the away side.
Both of these teams endured inauspicious starts to their Pro12 seasons with Treviso going down to Ospreys and Munster surprisingly succumbing at home to Edinburgh.
But it was the visitors that responded to the first week setback by opening the game on the front foot.
Keatley immediately kicked them into the lead in the first minute before Andrew Conway went close to scoring the first try of the match.
The home side were under pressure as the away team created a number of chances, but their stout cover defence kept them in contention.
Benetton’s scrum was also causing the Irish province problems and they managed to take the lead through Ragusi, following Ludovico Nitoglia’s break.
Foley’s men continued to threaten, though, and after their stand-off had reduced the arrears from the tee Stander touched down to regain their advantage at the break.
Treviso had opportunities to cut the deficit in the second period via the boot of Carlisle, but he was awry from the tee a number of times and they were made to pay when Zebo scampered clear for the decisive try.
The hosts’ pivot was finally on target 14 minutes from time, but the ever-accurate Keatley ended the match as a contest with a three-pointer of his own.
Tries: Stander, Zebo
Penalties: Keatley 3
Treviso: 15 Simone Ragusi, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Sam Christie, 11 Michele Campagnaro, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Henry Seniloli, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Tomas Vallejos Cinalli, 6 Meyer Swanepoel, 5 Corniel Van Zyl (c), 4 Marco Fuser , 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matteo Muccignat.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Salesi Manu, 19 Marco Lazzaroni, 20 Marco Barbini, 21 Alberto Sgarbi, 22 Angelo Esposito, 23 James Ambrosini.
Munster: 15 Felix Jones (c), 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Ivan Dineen, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Dave Foley, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 John Ryan, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Donncha O’Callaghan, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Johnny Holland, 23 Ronan O’Mahony
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Matteo Vivarini (Italy), Claudio Blessano (Italy)
Television match official: Carlo Damasco (Italy)
- Planet Rugby