The victory will serve as an ideal confidence-booster as they embark on a challenging four-week tour after next week’s bye, where they will line up against Connacht, the Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Ospreys respectively.

The first half was closely fought as both teams gave everything, but the Toyota Cheetahs’ two tries to none by Munster, whose first-half points were all earned through penalty goals, saw the hosts enter the break 12-9 ahead.

Toyota Cheetahs prop Ox Nche opened up the scoring in the 11th minute with a try from some good forward play, and experienced Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar slotted over the conversion to hand the team a 7-0 lead.

Munster were dealt a blow soon after with Rhys Marshall (hooker) receiving a yellow card for repeated infringements by the team, but they kept the scoreboard ticking as the halfway mark drew closer with Tyler Bleyendaal (flyhalf) slotting over back-to-back penalty goals within six minutes to reduce their deficit to one point.

This, however, was short-lived as Toyota Cheetahs flanker Junior Pokomela touched down out wide after a sharp pass by William Small-Smith (winger), who drew in the defence to create the space for his team mate.

But Munster ensured that they had the last say in the half with Bleyendaal slotting over his third penalty goal in the 39th minute to go into the break 12-9 down.

Small-Smith used his raw pace and skill to score the first try in the second half as he dashed through on the edge of the touchline five minutes after play resumed, and they added their fourth try minutes later as Joseph Dweba (hooker) forced his way over the chalk from a powerful rolling maul to inflate their lead to 26-9.

Toyota Cheetahs fullback Rhyno Smith was denied a try minutes later for being off-side, but Jasper Wiese (replacement flanker) made up for it soon after as he forced his way through three defenders to touch down.

Dan Goggin (centre) struck back for the visitors minutes before the final whistle as he ran a great angle on attack and scored their first and only try of the match, but this was cancelled out by a late try by Smith, who received a great inside pass at pace with an open tryline, and the successful conversion sealed a convincing 40-16 victory for the Free Staters.


Toyota Cheetahs 40 (12) – Tries: Ox Nche, Junior Pokomela, William Small-Smith, Joseph Dweba, Jasper Wiese, Rhyno Smith. Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (4), Tian Schoeman.

Munster 16 (9) - Try: Dan Goggin. Conversion: JJ Hanrahan. Penalty Goals: Tyler Bleyendaal (3).