Champions Cup: Munster v Racing 92

An emotional evening at Thomond Park awaits as Munster pay tribute to Anthony Foley a year on

Patrick Madden Sat, Oct 21
LIVE: Champions Cup: Munster v Racing 92

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  • Good afternoon!

    Welcome to our coverage of Munster's Champions Cup clash with Racing 92.

    Today thousands of Munster men and women descend upon Thomond Park to pay homage to the great Anthony Foley, who died on the 16th October last year ahead of a fixture against the same opponents.

    A win for the province today would be a fitting tribute to Axel - but also key to their hopes of progressing from Pool Three, following last weekend's opening draw away to Castres.

    And as if the occasion wasn't big enough already, a certain Dan Carter starts for the Parisians at outhalf.

    It promises to be an emotional evening - and the latest addition to the endless list of rousing European occasions at Thomond park.

    We'll be brigning you all of the action - come on!!!

  • Munster Rugby: Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony (c), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander. Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, John Ryan, Mark Flanagan, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Andrew Conway

    Racing 92: Pat Lambie; Joe Rokocoko, Henry Chavancy, Anthony Tuitavke, Louis Dupichot; Dan Carter, Maxime Machenaud (capt); Eddy Ben Arous, Camille Chat, Ben Tameifuna, Bernard Le Roux, Leone Nakarawa, Wenceslas Lauret, Yannick Nyanga, Antonie Claassen. Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Viliamu Afatia, Census Johnston, Baptiste Chouzenoux, Edwin Maka, Teddy Iribaren, Rémi Tales, Albert Vulivuli.

    Referee: JP Doyle (England).

  • Leinster were the first Irish province to feature this weekend and they picked up another impressive bonus point victory, beating Glasgow Warriors 34-18 at Scotstoun.

    You can read Gavin Cummiskey's match report HERE.

  • Munster will bear the logo of the Irish Heart Foundation on their shirts today. There will also be the unveiling of a plaque of the Ireland legend inside the home dressing room.
  • You can read Gerry Thornley's match preview HERE.
  • Big responsibility on the shoulders of Ian Keatley today, he's handed the number 10 jersey in the absence of the injured Tyler Bleyendaal, with JJ Hanrahan confined to the bench again. Niall Scannell is also missing with a calf complaint, however Jean Kleyn returns to the starting XV.

    Last weekend's draw with Castres was a pretty terrible game, with both sides racking up error after error. A big improvement will be needed today.

  • 15 mins until kick off!
  • Elsewhere on the continent, Connacht have ground their way to a 15-8 win over Worcester Warriors at the Sportsground.
  • Cruel result for Treviso - they lost 30-29 to Toulon courtesy of a last miute penalty. Ouch.
  • Here come the teams. Thomond rocking, expectant.
  • There's a minute's silence for Foley, followed by a guttural roar.
  • Dan Carter has the ball in hand - and we're underway!
  • 1 min: Munster secure Carter's restart. Murray boxkicks but it gets held up in the wind and Racing have a dangerous lineout just outside the Munster 22.
  • 2 min: Munster slow the Racing ball down on the 22. They switch it right to Carter who tries to stab a kick through but he gets snotted by Farrell before he can get it away. Racing offside - Munster penalty. Good early defence.
  • 3 min: Looks like it was a clash of knees between Carter and Farrell - the latter is getting some lengthy treatment.
  • 3 min: Munster win the lineout and Murray boxkicks - his swirling effort well claimed by veteran winger Joe Rokocoko. Loose period of play, with both sides trading kicks - until visiting skipper Machenaud finds a good one in behind Munster.

    Peter O'Mahony down getting treatment.

  • 5 min: O'Mahony is back on his feet and in the lineout - but looks very ginger when he tries to secure a loose ball on the deck. Good pressure from Racing but they knocked it forward from the set piece.
  • 6 min: Controlled Munster scrum and a well measured kick up the touchline from Murray, reaching the Racing 10.
  • 7 min: The ball swirling all over the place in the wind - Sweetnam did well under a high one and then Racing are penalsied at the next ruck. Keatley wastes no time with his kick to touch and Munster secure the lineout.

    Possession in the Racing half for Munster but Keatley sends up a poor kick to Lambie, who calls a mark and clears.

  • 9 min: Well measured nudge into the corner from Keatley - Munster enjoying more territory now.
  • 10 min: Machenaud clears Racing lines with a boxkick but Munster have the lineout on the visitor's 10-metre.
  • 10 MIN: MUNSTER 0 RACING 92 0
  • 12 min: Racing pinged for a high tackle in midfield and Keatley finds a very good touch. Munster win their lineout ball - the set piece has been slick so far - and they force another penalty. It's sent back into the corner.
  • 12 min: This time the Munster lineout is poor and goes loose. Racing clear as far as Earls on the left who dances down the line and pops off for Murray, who looks to spread it wide. Great kick form Zebo, finding touch out on the left.
  • 15 min: Munster scrum inside the Racing 10-metre - and a big shunt sees them wawarded a penalty. Good work from Kilcoyne. Keatley kicks up towards the five-metre.  
  • 16 min: Racing spoil the Munster lienout - but then a clearance is charged down. Good pressure from Munster and Chavancy knocks it on on the Racing 22. Big chance.
  • 18 min: Big scrum from the Munster pack and they work the short side, before piling on the pressure on the visitor's five-metre. Munster have a penalty coming, and when it does Murray goes quickly. Big chance again, but they can't capitalise and Le Roux forces a huge turnover under his posts.
  • 20 MIN: MUNSTER 0 RACING 92 0
  • 22 min: Plenty of handling errors from both sides so far, and the visitors are handed a scrum just outside the Munster 22. Big scrum from Racing and they get quick ball, Rory Scannell having to make an excellent last-ditch tackle on Carter, who can't find the offload. Racing building the phases inside the home 22.
  • 24 min: A brilliant double-tackle from Murray and O'Mahony sends racing back and kills their momentum - but they retain the ball.
  • 25 min: Racing are creeping up towards 20 phases, until a big tackle from Kilcoyne turns the ball over. Zebo is then tackled into touch and Racing take the lineout quickly - this is a lung busting passage of play.
  • 26 min: Keatley makes an important if dubious tackle on Rokocoko on the right - he didn't ude his arms at all. Munster pinged at the breakdown though, another good attacking platform for Racing.
  • 27 min: Solid Racing scrum and they work the ball left - but the move breaks down as Chat spills it forward under the posts.
  • 28 min: Ball quickly in and out and Stander makes a good pressure-relieving carry from number eight. Munster then awarded another scrum at the breakdown.
  • 30 MIN: MUNSTER 0 RACING 92 0
  • 31 min: Excellent clearing kick from Scannell up to the 10. Racing secure their lineout ball but a few phases later Marshall picks off a pass and Murray makes a good clearance upfield.

    Good Racing linout and Nakarawa is pulled down by Munster - Carter kicks up to the home 22, where Chat's throw is crooked.

  • 34 min: Kleyn does well at a Racing ruck but kicks the ball as he bursts through, giving Racing a penalty on the 10-metre which is sent to touch.
  • 35 min: Racing build the phases from the lineout, another good Kilcoyne tackle slowing the ball down.
  • 36 min: 15 phases for Racing before they can breach the Munster 22 - and when they do Chavancy is penalised after he strays offside.  
  • 38 min: Good Munster scrum and they clear well up towards halfway.
  • 39 min: Another excellent grab in the air from Steetnam on his own 10 after Carter goes high with a kick. Munster then awarded a scrum, followed by a scrum penalty. Good kick from Keatley up towards the Racing 22.
  • 40 min: Looks like clean ball for Munster but the referee pings Stander for joining the lineout before Scannell had released.
  • Munster are back out for the second half - the Thomond floodlights are on.

    Fingers crossed for a better 40 minutes coming up.

  • Keatley gets us back underway!
  • 42 min: Good Munster lineout inside the Racing 10, and Kleyn does well to retain the ball as he takes it into contact. It's recycled back out to Keatley who spies the space and puts in a good kick to the wing - Sweetnam takes it but Lambie read it well and hauls him into touch.
  • 43 min: Another Munster lineout on the Racing 10 but this time Le Roux makes a great steal at the back. Keatley starting to use the breeze to good effect and he pins another good into the right corner.
  • 45 min: A theme developing - Racing clear their lines after securing that lineout, a good kick to halfway from Machenaud. Good Munster set piece again.

    Munster set piece on halfway and out of nowhere Zebo produces a moment of magic, running onto a Keatley chip and finding Earls with a pass round his back. Earls is through - but he can't hold onto the ball.

  • 47 min: Munster had a penalty coming and they kick to touch before starting to build the phases. Good linespeed from Racing, though, and the attack is yet to trouble the visitor's 22.

    This time, there's a poor kick from Keatley, and he sends it dead.

  • 50 MIN: MUNSTER 0 RACING 92 0
  • 50 min: Still no points on the board - or even a missed penalty attempt. Deep kick to Claasen, and he dumps the chasing Sweetnam with a dismissive hand off.
  • 52 min: Another spell of kick tennis before Keatley finds touch on the Munster 10-metre.
  • 53 min: Carter has had a quiet evening, and he's replaced by Remi Tales. O'Donnell does well to emerge with the ball form the Racing lineout before kicks are traded, again.
  • 54 min: Great Racing pressure on the Munster 22 and they earn a penalty - but kick to the corner with Lambie rather than going for the posts.
  • 55 min: Racing set up lineout maul and Munster are fighting desperately to keep them out. Murray and O'Donnell pinged for coming in at the side - back into the corner.
  • 56 min: Racing go for the maul again, but Munster stay firm heroically and earn a penalty, under immense pressure. That decision generates the biggest cheer of the night, Keatley sends it to touch.
  • 57 min: Loose Munster lineout but luckily for them Racing knock it forward as they look to secure the loose ball.  
  • 58 min: A Murray kick bounces and Munster seize on it before building a few phases. But then it goes loose again and Lambie clears to touch on the near side.
  • 60 MIN: MUNSTER 0 RACING 92 0
  • 60 min: Munster haven't been able to get the maul working and Racing slow the ball down. They eventually look to use some width but Keatley throws a wild pass and it goes forward off Zebo.
  • TRY MUNSTER!!!!!!!!!!
  • The deadlock is finally broken and it's all thanks to Murray. Machenaud picks the ball out from the scrum and hesitates, allowing his opposite number to charge the kick down and then chase the loose ball, before cruising over the line.  

    Keatley nails a good conversion.

    62 MIN: MUNSTER 7 RACING 92 0

  • 64 min: Big Munster scrum in centre field and they win a penalty. There's then a bit of handbags before Keatley kicks to touch. Another loose lineout from the hosts but they get lucky and win the ball over the back.


  • 65 min:  Szarzewski gets penalised for not rolling away.

    Chance for Keatley from just outside the 22 - but he pushes the kick wide.

    66 MIN: MUNSTER 7 RACING 92 0

  • 67 min: Good response from Keatley though, turning Lambie who can only shepherd the ball into touch on the Racing five-metre.
  • 68 min: Racing clear from the lineout but it doesn't go any great distance, and Munster have a platform inside the Racing 22.
  • TRY MUNSTER!!!!!!!
  • And that should be that. This time Munster get the maul working and grind their way into the 22. It's the best passage of the game from the hosts, who are relentless in building pressure, and Racing do well to hold them up aorund the fringes. Eventually they move it right and Scannell plays a brilliant ball to Conway who crosses in the corner.

    Keatley converts.

    71 MIN: MUNSTER 14 RACING 92 0

  • 72 min: Great Munster lineout steal on halfway. They have the momentum to see this out comfortably now.
  • 74 min: Racing scrum just outside the Munster 22 and a good platform. They win a penalty, which is kicked into the corner.
  • 76 min: Quick lineout ball and they run a couple of quick phases, Rokocoko carrying up towards the line.
  • TRY RACING 92!!!!!
  • Sustained Racing 92 pressure and eventually Nakawara forces his way over. The conversion is knocked over by Tales - Racing have a sniff once again.

    77 MIN: MUNSTER 14 RACING 92 7

  • 79 mins: Kilcoyne is named man of the match. Munster concede a penalty and Racing kick the penalty up to the 10. They set the maul and grind their way up to the 22 with another advantage coming.

    Tales looks crossfield but can only pick out Zebo.

  • 80 min: Racing go back into the corner - five-metre lineout for Munster to defend.
  • 81 min:  Chouzenoux can't hold onto  Szarzewski's throw, Munster clear to touch.
  • Thanks for joining today - far from a classic but a vital win for Munster.  

    Gerry Thorley's match report will be along shortly.