Paul Warwick came back to haunt his former team Connacht as he drove Munster to a deserved 25-10 Magners League triumph at Thomond Park.
Stepping effortlessly from full-back against the Ospreys into the number 10 role against Connacht, Warwick was central to a 20-point burst from Munster in 11 first-half minutes during which they put their Irish rivals to the sword.
Tries from man of the match Barry Murphy and Doug Howlett set the home side on the way to their ninth straight win and although they failed to pick up the bonus point, they are now 11 points clear at the top and within touching distance of the title.
Fionn Carr grabbed a Connacht try after the break although Freddie Pucciariello replied for Munster.
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.