Felix JONES made a try-scoring return to Thomond Park as his early score helped Munster scramble to a 16-13 RaboDirect PRO12 win over the Cardiff Blues.
Munster were left sweating by the finish as they were held scoreless in the second half, with the Blues battling back to within three points of their play-off rivals.
Retired Scotland international Dan Parks had kicked Cardiff in front but Jones’ try and four successful kicks from Ian Keatley gave Munster a 16-3 interval lead.
Richard Mustoe’s 48th-minute touchdown laid the foundations for Cardiff’s comeback, but they fell just short in the end.
The Blues nosed ahead thanks to Parks’ fifth-minute opener, but Keatley punished Gavin Henson for going offside when kicking the hosts level from outside the 22.
Munster had the psychological advantage when a BJ Botha-inspired scrum won them a pressure-lifting penalty, and they struck for their first try in the very next phase thanks to Simon Zebo.
Then Henson darted through a midfield gap to set up winger Mustoe over in the right corner.