5 Things We Learned From Munster’s Demolition Of Leicester Last Night

Tigers tamed.

Munster marched to the top of their Champions Cup pool last night after a convincing 33-10 bonus-point win over the Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park.

It was a near flawless performance from the men in red, who took control of the game right from the very beginning with some excellent work at the breakdown and a near impenetrable defence.

For new boss Johann van Graan he really couldn’t have asked for much more in his European debut, and will go to Welford Road next week knowing they have every chance of coming away with something.

Here are five things we learned from last night’s win.

Chris Cloete is the real deal.

The South African back-row has been impressive in the PRO14 since arriving, but last night was his first big test and boy did he deliver. A proper old school out and out seven, he plays a similar style of rugby to Wallabies captain Michael Hooper. Cloete tackled everything that moved and was a complete nuisance at the breakdown. Could end up being one of the signings of the season and a wonderful going away present from Rassie Erasmus.

Sam Arnold has a bright future.

Finally Munster fans have been given a proper opportunity to see Sammy Arnold do what he does best. Has been unlucky since he arrived from Ulster with a couple of frustrating injuries, but when he has played for Garryowen and Munster A, he’s been incredible. A massive talent that will no doubt go on to bigger and better things. Still only 21 mind you.

The ten jersey now belongs to Ian Keatley.

Another cracking game from the former Connacht and Leinster playmaker. Playing his best rugby since arriving at Munster and has made the ten jersey his own this season. Tyler Bleyendaal will struggle to get back into the team when he’s back fit.

Peter O’Mahony must be retained at any cost.

Another inspirational performance from the skipper, proving the IRFU his worth. Incredible work-rate, a monster at lineout time, and a try for the boot. No matter what it takes, this man must be retained. He is the life and soul of Munster Rugby.

Rhys Marshall is going to be tough to move.

The New Zealand hooker really has taken his chance in Niall Scannell’s absence. He’s been in great form since taking over, and was one of the best players on the pitch last night. Did really well for his try, Scannell will find it tough to shift him when he returns from a hand injury.

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