Man of the Match Darren Sweetnam of Munster races through the Cheetahs defence on Saturday. Photo: @PRO14Official via Twitter

LIMERICK, Ireland – The Cheetahs were blanked as they suffered a heavy 38-0 defeat to Munster in their PRO14 opener at Thomond Park in Limerick, Ireland on Saturday.

The South Africans were dealt a massive blow in their plans to start the new campaign with a win when captain Oupa Mohoje was forced off the pitch.

The Springbok flank left the pitch with a knee injury, which saw Aidon Davis come on in the 14th minute.

Shortly thereafter, Munster got the ball rolling, with centre Rory Scannell crossing the whitewash.

Eight minutes before the break, David Kilcoyne etched his name on to the score-sheet, with JJ Hanrahan adding the extras to help the home side into a 12-0 lead at the break.

The second period proved to be a one-sided affair, with Munster stepping up their game as they dominated all facets of the game.

The Cheetahs, without an answer, conceded once more, with Tommy O’Donnell crashing over in the 52nd minute.

Munster’s patience paid off as JJ Hanrahan forced his way over for his side’s fourth of the night with a quarter still to play – a sign of struggles to come.

Dave O’Callaghan got in on the action, before wing Darren Sweetnam pounced on a wayward pass and ran home the required 60 metres, with little response from the opposition.

The victory is a resounding feather in the cap of Munster boss Johann van Graan, the former Springbok assistant coach.

It was a bleak weekend for South Africa, with the Southern Kings going down 32-16 to Zebre in Italy on Friday night.

Points-Scorers

Munster 38 – Tries: Rory Scannell, David Kilcoyne, Tommy O’Donnell, JJ Hanrahan, Dave O’Callaghan, Darren Sweetnam. Conversions: Hanrahan (4).

Africa News Agency (ANA)