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Munster claim bonus point win in France

MATCH REPORT: Jack Crowley stated his case for the starting flyhalf spot in Ireland’s Six Nations team with an impressive performance at the heart of Munster’s 29-18 win over Toulon in the Champions Cup.

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Crowley kicked a penalty and conversions for three of Munster’s four tries, but alongside scrumhalf Craig Casey he was also the creative heartbeat in a famous victory.

The result leaves Toulon winless after the first three rounds of action, with Munster picking up their first victory in the competition this season to boost their hopes of making the Round of 16.

In a topsy turvy first half, Munster headed in 17-13 up at the break with tries from centre Alex Nankivell and fullback Simon Zebo, both converted by Crowley who also added a penalty.

But the Irish province had been 0-10 down at one point to their TOP14 hosts; fullback Melvyn Jaminet kicked the first points of the game from the tee in the 15th minute, before he added the extras to a stunning try from centre Duncan Paia’aua which had been made by the powerful run of wing Jiuta Wainiqolo.

Munster then fought back, with another Jaminet penalty cancelled out when Zebo collected Crowley’s clever dink over the Toulon line to dot down.

Another Crowley kick set up Munster’s third try, and first of the second period, as the flyhalf spread the ball out wide for lock Tom Ahern to go over in the corner for another five.

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Despite flank Cornell du Preez going over for the hosts, wing Calvin Nash then struck to extend Munster’s lead and, crucially, secure the bonus point; this time it was Casey who kicked well, with Nash gathering impressively to run through and dot down.

Crowley kicked the extras to give the visitors an 11-point lead heading into the final 20 minutes, and it proved insurmountable for the hosts.

Toulon will now travel to Glasgow Warriors with both teams needing a win, while Munster will also be keen to defeat Northampton Saints back at Thomond Park.

Scorers:

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For Toulon:
Tries: Paia’aua, Du Preez
Cons: Jaminet
Pens: Jaminet 2

For Munster:
Tries: Nankivell, Zebo, Ahern, Nash
Cons: Crowley 3
Pen: Crowley

Teams:

Toulon: 15 Melvyn Jaminet, 14 Jiuta Wainiqolo, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Ben White, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Selevasio Tolofua, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Ribbans (captain), 4 Matthias Halagahu, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Dany Priso.
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Bruce Devaux, 18 Beka Gigashvili, 19 Brian Alainu’uese, 20 Jules Coulon, 21 Jules Danglot, 22 Jérémy Sinzelle, 23 Setariki Tuicuvu

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Calvin Nash, 13 Antoine Frisch, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 John Hodnett, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Tadhg Beirne (captain), 4 Tom Ahern, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Jeremy Loughman,
Replacements: 16 Eoghan Clarke, 17 Josh Wycherley, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Brian Gleeson, 20 Alex Kendellen, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Sean O’Brien

Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)
Assistant referees: Saba Abulashvili (GEO) & Shota Tevzadze (Georgia)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

Source @EPCR

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