Munster rose to the top of Pool 2 in the Heineken Champions Cup after coasting to victory over 14-man Gloucester at Thomond Park this afternoon.

Johan Van Graan were even able to ease up well before the finish, conceding three second half tries after the bonus point was assured. 

For the visitors, Danny Cipriani capped a bad week with a first-half red card for a high tackle.

Cipriani, snubbed by Eddie Jones on Thursday when England's autumn series squad was named, was sent off in the 28th minute by French referee Alexandre Ruiz after his right shoulder made contact with the head of Munster centre Rory Scannell.

Tries from Mike Haley (20 minutes) and Rhys Marshall (34) gave Munster a 15-3 half-time lead, with Gloucester also having lock Tom Savage sin-binned.

Rhys Marshall ran in Munster's second try on 34 minutes


Munster, who gained a valuable draw at Exeter in round one, had their bonus point by the 55th minute thanks to man-of-the-match Joey Carbery's first European try in the red jersey and a Sam Arnold score.

Andrew Conway added a fifth try in front of a 23,068-strong crowd but Munster's poor discipline saw them end the game with 13 players - replacements Arnold and Stephen Archer both saw yellow - as Gloucester rallied superbly with tries from former Munster lock Gerbrandt Grober, Jason Woodward and the excellent Ben Morgan.

Already down a few bodies, including Gallagher Premiership top try scorer Charlie Sharples (hamstring), Gloucester rejigged their front row before kick-off with Fraser Balmain (illness) dropping out.

They got off to a bright start by disrupting Munster's lineout and Val Rapava Ruskin, Balmain's replacement, won a scrum penalty.

Munster were fortunate to get away with just a penalty for CJ Stander's collapsed maul, before a Tadhg Beirne turnover lifted the hosts and they soon took advantage after the match officials deemed Savage's shoulder-led clearout on Dan Goggin worthy of a yellow card.

Gloucester were caught narrow in defence and good width from Munster put full-back Haley over in the right corner. Carbery swept the conversion wide to the left, and Munster captain Peter O'Mahony coughed up a penalty which Cipriani turned into three points with a booming long-range kick.

However, the 30-year-old England fly-half received his marching orders just a few minutes later, being caught too upright in a tackle on Scannell which also involved Ruskin.

Danny Cipriani was sent off by referee Alexandre Ruiz thirty minutes in


Carbery sent the resulting penalty over for 8-3 and he converted after Billy Twelvetrees was pinged for another high tackle and hooker Marshall struck from an impressive lineout maul.

An ankle injury forced Tommy O'Donnell off before the interval, and Tom Marshall joined Franco Marais on the sidelines as injuries further impacted the Gloucester line-up.

Playing a scrum penalty advantage, Carbery wrapped around Goggin to raid in beside the posts in the 50th minute, and the young number 10's classy behind-the-back pass added momentum to an attack which ended with Arnold's well-taken try.

Even at 29-3 down, Gloucester were far from finished. Grobler scored from close range following a series of Munster penalties and Matt Banahan threatened before full-back Woodward crossed in the left corner.

Conway claimed Munster's fifth try, via Carbery's soft hands, with the latter chalking up 16 points in total.

However, the new Pool 2 leaders' disappointing finish slightly took the shine off their victory as they allowed the resilient English side to dictate possession, Morgan burrowing over in the 78th minute, in between those yellows for Arnold (deliberate knock-on) and Archer (high tackle). 

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Arno Botha, Alby Mathewson, JJ Hanrahan, Sammy Arnold

Gloucester: Jason Woodward; Matt Banahan, Billy Twelvetrees, Mark Atkinson, Tom Marshall; Danny Cipriani, Callum Braley; Josh Hohneck, Franco Marais, Fraser Balmain; Tom Savage, Ed Slater (c); Freddie Clarke, Jake Polledri, Ben Morgan

Replacements: Henry Walker, Val Rapava Ruskin, Ciaran Knight, Gerbrandt Grobler, Gareth Evans, Ben Vellacott, Owen Williams, Tom Hudson

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz