Munster’s return to Cardiff for the first time since their Heineken Cup triumph ended in defeat when the Blues emerged 22-13 winners in this opening round Magners League match in front of aa 8000 plus crowd.
Munster gave competitive debuts to James Downey, Darragh Hurley, Donncha Ryan, James Coughlan and Ross Noonan and up against a near full strength Blues side they did extremely well to be just 9-3 down at the end of the opening half.
The Blues then scored two tries and added a penalty to race into a 22-6 lead. With Munster reduced to thirteen – with Ryan and replacement prop Tim Ryan yellow carded – the signs looked ominous but they dug deep to deny the home side any further scores in the closing quarter. Ryan atoned for his dismissal with a fine try which Jeremy Manning converted and in the end Munster might even have snatched a bonus point for their gritty performance.