Champions Cup: Munster v Gloucester

The first European game of the season at Thomond Park sees the home side looking for a first win

RuaidhrĂ­ Croke Sat, Oct 20
LIVE: Champions Cup: Munster v Gloucester

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  • 12:19

    Hello, good afternoon and welcome! It's another weekend of Champions Cup rugby with Munster kicking the action off at home to Gloucester. I'm Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be with you for the next few hours as Johann van Graan's side look to get their first win of the campaign after their 10-10 draw with Exeter Chiefs last weekend.

    It's a bright and sunny Saturday lunchtime in Limerick and kick-off is ticking closer. Team news on the way!

  • 12:25

    So, there's a late switch for Gloucester with Val Rapava-Ruskin coming into the starting lineup as Josh Hohneck moves across and Fraser Balmain drops to the bench.

    For Munster it's as named with Niall Scannell missing out after picking up an injury in training as Johann van Graan makes four changes. A brand new front-row of James Cronin, Rhys Marshall and John Ryan come in while Tommy O'Donnell joins captain Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander in the back row.

    MUNSTER: M Haley; A Conway, D Goggin, R Scannell, D Sweetnam; J Carbery, D Williams; J Cronin, R Marshall, J Ryan; J Kleyn, T Beirne; P O’Mahony (capt), T O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

    Replacements: K O’Byrne, D Kilcoyne, S Archer, B Holland, A Botha, A Mathewson, JJ Hanrahan, S Arnold.

    GLOUCESTER: J Woodward; M Banahan, B Twelvetrees, M Atkinson, T Marshall; D Cipriani, C Braley; J Hohneck, F Marais, V Rapava Ruskin; T Savage, E Slater (capt); F Clarke, J Polledri, B Morgan.

    Replacements: H Walker, F Balmain, C Knight, G Grobler, G Evans, B Vellacott, O Williams, T Hudson.

    Referee: A Ruiz (France)

  • 12:35

    It's a clash that inevitably brings up talk of 2003.

    On a cold January day 15 years ago these same two sides met at this same venue and Munster did the unthinkable. Needing to win by four clear tries and a minimum of 27 points, or by five clear tries, to progress from their pool, the home side went and did exactly that.

    Earlier this week Gerry Thornley caught up with the Munster coach on the day - Alan Gaffney - to look back on the 'Miracle Match'.

    Remembering Munster's 'Miracle Match': When 'all players stood up'

  • 12:42

    Perhaps more pertinent a bond between the two sides in the current day is that of the return to Thomond Park of Gerbrandt Grobler. The South African signed for the Irish province last year to much derision owing to the fact that he failed a drugs test in the past and the controversy over that rather overshadowed his brief spell in Limerick.

    Rather surprisingly he is among the Gloucester substitutes today but should come into the fray at some stage.

    With more on that and how this Gloucester side will look to attack their hosts this afternoon, you can read John O'Sullivan's preview.

    Munster on the cusp of a complete performance

  • 12:49

    Just 10 minutes to go until kick-off now.

    In at number 10 for Gloucester is the mercurial Danny Cipriani. Say what you want about the controversial outhalf but no one can deny his undoubted talent.

    Earlier this week the 30-year-old was left out of the England squad for the autumn internationals.  

    Now Johnny Watterson asks what is next for the Gloucester man.

    Trials of the enigmatic Danny Cipriani: What will happen next?

  • 12:56

    Just about time to go at Thomond Park with the two teams out on the pitch.

    Can Johann van Graan's men pick up their first win of Pool 2 and make it 10 European wins in a row at Thomond Park?

  • 13:00
    1 min: We're underway at Thomond Park! (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)
  • 13:02
    2 mins: Danny Cipriani's kick-off isn't claimed by anyone in a Munster jersey and Gloucester can get hands on the ball in the hosts' 22 straight away. However, the home side defend well and eventually win the put-in to the scrum. Danger averted.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)
  • 13:05
    4 mins: Gloucester's first lineout on the left is a poor one and it allows Cj Stander to claim for Munster. However, Duncan Williams' kick bounces into Gloucester hands and they can attack.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)
  • 13:06
    6 mins: A poor pass from Billy Twelvetrees evades everyone and bounces out of play. It was also forward so Munster get the scrum on halfway. It's been a scrappy start to this game so far.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)
  • 13:09
    8 mins: Another poor lineout - this time from Munster - gifts the ball to he visitors who can drive into the Munster half. However, a fumble gifts it right back to Munster and they kick long. Neither side can hold onto posession at the moment, it seems.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)
  • 13:12

    11 mins: Another lineout for Munster, this one on the Gloucester 22, is worked well and Munster can threaten the Gloucester line for the first time.

    However, it's spilled again and Twelvetrees claims. Gloucester eventually take their advantage from the spill and will have the put-in to the scrum in their own 22. Very, very scrappy stuff from both teams so far.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)

  • 13:13
    13 mins: Munster break down the scrum and Cipriani can kick to touch. However, another terrible lineout from the visitors is offline and gives Munster a scrum.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)
  • 13:15
    15 mins: Munster work the lineout well but more loose passing causes a few fumbles and Twelvetrees can steal in again. Cipriani kicks to touch right into the Munster 22 and the visitors now have a lineout in a great position.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)
  • 13:17
    16 mins: Gloucester drive for the line and almost make it but Munster hold them up. However, it was done illegally and the visitors get the penalty. Cipriani taps it into touch, the lineout is worked well and Gloucester are now five yards from the Munster line with ball in hand.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)
  • 13:18

    17 mins: But Tadhg Beirne steals it superbly!

    That was some great work from the Munster man. It allows his side to kick clear but it doesn't find touch and Gloucester come again.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)

  • 13:19
    18 mins: We've gone to the TMO for possible foul play from Tom Savage during the Gloucester attack...  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)
  • 13:21

    18 mins: Sin bin for Savage.

    His clearout on Dan Goggin is deemed illegal and Gloucester will play with 14 for the next 10 minutes. Munster kick to touch and will have a lineout on halfway.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)

  • 13:24

    19 mins: Munster work the lineout into a scrum and can attack off the back ofit.

    This has been far from entertaining so far but perhaps Munster can make the extra man count now.  (Munster 0 Gloucester 0)

  • 13:26



  • 13:27

    23 mins: And Munster do make that extra man count!

    A well-worked scrum almost got Sweetnam in on the left but he was thwarted yards short, as was Williams.

    However, Munster remained patient by working it back out and all the way out to the far side where Mike Haley was in the space to scoot in over the line and give Munster the lead.  

    Carbery's conversion from a tough angle curls wide.  (Munster 5 Gloucester 0)

  • 13:30
    26 mins: Gloucester finally put together a good attack with O'Mahony halting it illegally. That gives the visitors the penalty and Cipriani takes the chance to get his team on the board. He converts with aplomb and Gloucester cut the gap to two points.  (Munster 5 Gloucester 3)
  • 13:34

    28 mins: That's great work from Taidhg Beirne. From a Gloucester lineout he piles into the maul and disrupts it sufficiently to win Munster the advtange which leads to a penalty.  

    Carbery kicks to touch and Munster now have the chance to attack.  (Munster 5 Gloucester 3)

  • 13:36


  • 13:39

    32 mins: Well, well, well, is he ever out of the spotlight?

    After another TMO interjection the ever-controversial Cipriani is shown a red card.  

    It was Scannell who attacked and was brought down by a high tackle from Josh Hohneck. However, that was not the issue but rather the right shoulder thrown by Cipriani into the face of Scannell as he went down.  

    That's enough for the red card to be   shown and Gloucester are reduced to 14 men.

    From the middle of the posts Carbery easily kicks the penalty and Munster lead by five with an extra man.  (Munster 8 Gloucester 3)

  • 13:44

    35 mins: Well Gloucester could easily be down to 13 here.

    As Carbery attacked down the right Twelvetrees piled into him with another shoulder to the face. There is very little difference between that and Cipriani's tackle but Twelvetrees survives.  

    Munster get the penalty, kick to touch and now have a great chance of getting another try.  (Munster 8 Gloucester 3)

  • 13:44



  • 13:45

    37 mins: A well worked lineout and a perfect maul allows Munster to drive over the line with Marshall eventually touching down.  Carbery converts.

    Gloucester look beaten already here after that red card.  (Munster 15 Gloucester 3)

  • 13:48

    38 mins: O'Donnell gets a bang to his knee and is down for treatment.

    That puts an end to his match as he goes off on a stretcher and Arno Botha comes on as the replacement.  (Munster 15 Gloucester 3)

  • 13:50

    39 mins: That looks a bad one for O'Donnell.

    As he made a tackle his feet slid from underneath him and his left ankle turned right over. That could be very damaging.

    Munster now must be looking at a bonus point but for the moment it's a Gloucester scrum inside their own half.  (Munster 15 Gloucester 3)

  • 13:55
  • 13:55
    It certainly hasn't been vintage Munster but they have done enough and have been helped along by Gloucester's indiscipline to boot. Cipriani's red card has been seriously damaging and there now looks to be no way back for the English side while Munster can chase a bonus point.  
  • 14:06

    The players are back out on the pitch and we're ready to go for the second half.

    Can Munster make this extra man really count?

  • 14:10
    41 mins: We're back underway at Thomond Park! (Munster 15 Gloucester 3)
  • 14:13
    43 mins: Gloucester go straight into the attack but fumble their lineout. That allows Munster the put-in to the scrum.  (Munster 15 Gloucester 3)
  • 14:16
    45 mins: We have a stoppage here as Tom Marshall is treated and then replaced by Tom Hudson for what looks like a serious enough knee injury.  (Munster 15 Gloucester 3)
  • 14:22
    48 mins: Tadhg Beirne almost got away for a long run-in after a Gloucester break down in the maul but his kick through was just a little too heavy. However, Munster are just beginning to get into their stride now and have a scrum just a few metres short of the Gloucester line.  (Munster 15 Gloucester 3)
  • 14:24



  • 14:26

    53 mins: Some lovely passing from Munster out of the scrum allows Carbery the space to trot over the line for the easiest of tries.

    He then converts as well and it's all plain sailing for Munster now.  (Munster 22 Gloucester 3)

  • 14:28
    54 mins: Gerbrandt Grobler enters the fray for Gloucester just as they lose possession in the Munster half and the home side can kick to touch.  (Munster 22 Gloucester 3)
  • 14:29



  • 14:31

    57 mins: From the lineout Munster patiently work it across to the right. Carbery gets it and looks like he's about to be tackleed but, at the last second, slips a beautiful offload out from behind his back into the hands of Arnold who changes direction and bursts through the line to score Munster's fourth try and secure the bonus point with more than 20 minutes still to go.

    Carbery converts.  (Munster 29 Gloucester 3)

  • 14:36
    61 mins: It's just damaged limitations for Gloucester now but they're still pushing and now have a lineout inside the Munster 22.  (Munster 29 Gloucester 3)
  • 14:38



  • 14:39

    65 mins: The visitors get their just rewards for their perseverance with a powerful maul across the Munster line which allows the man himself Gerbrandt Grobler to touch down on his return to Thomond Park. Twlevetrees kicks the conversion.  (Munster 29 Gloucester 10)

  • 14:42



  • 14:43

    68 mins: Another try for Munster and another lovely flick from Carbery. Their handling has been quite a bit better in this second half and it shows again as they work it across the line nicely before Carbery feints and slips a little pass up into the air for the onrushing Conway to catch and drive over.

    Carbery converts.  (Munster 36 Gloucester 10)

  • 14:44



  • 14:47

    70 mins: This time it's Twelvetrees with the dummy as he throws a few Munster defender with a faked pass before slipping it out wide to Woodward who has plenty of space to run over. Both teams just getting a little ragged now.

    Twelvetrees misses the conversion from a tough angle.  (Munster 36 Gloucester 15)

  • 14:52
    75 mins: Gloucester have really pushed hard this last while and are probably the better team. They have Munster right on the back foot again here, just a few yards short of the line...  (Munster 36 Gloucester 15)
  • 14:54
    77 mins: Munster battle hard to keep them out but they have conceded a penalty and a yellow card for Arnold after a deliberate knock on. Gloucester kick to touch.  (Munster 36 Gloucester 15)
  • 14:55



  • 14:57
    80 mins: Despite the fact that they're going to take a bonus point win from this Munster will still be a little dissatisfied. They've let Gloucester come right back into it in the last 20 minutes or so and the English side have taken their chances. Twelvetrees went over for his try and then converted with a lovely little dropkick.  (Munster 36 Gloucester 22)
  • 14:58

    80 mins: Munster now down to 13 men after a yellow for Archer for a high tackle.

    It's been a very scrappy finish to this one for the home side.  (Munster 36 Gloucester 22)

  • 14:59
  • 15:03

    Well, it wasn't a classic and it certainly wasn't vintage Munster.

    The Cipriani red card shaped the game in the end and allowed Munster to pull away. While they were quite good for a period in the second half they never quite hit the heights and then allowed Gloucester pick up a few tries towards the end.  

    Still it's a bonus point win for the home side and it puts them top of Pool 2 with seven points after Castres beat Exeter 29-25 in France.

  • 15:13

    So that's it from Thomond Park after Munster's 10th consecutive European win at the venue.

    John O'Sullivan's report will be online soon and Eamon Donoghue will be along at 5pm for live updates from Ulster's meeting with Racing in Paris. Thanks for reading, bye!