Toulouse fight back to knock Munster out
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Antoine Dupont scored a brace as Toulouse ran out 40-33 winners over Munster in an entertaining Champions Cup Round of 16 clash at Thomond Park.
It was Munster who went in seven points ahead at the break, but four tries from the four-time European champions in the second period helped them secure a spot in next weekend’s quarterfinals, where they will face ASM Clermont Auvergne.
The two sides traded early penalties with flyhalf Romain Ntamack getting the better of the duel, leaving Toulouse 6-3 ahead on 20 minutes.
But Munster soon responded with two tries in four minutes.
The first came through Keith Earls after some lovely work from Damian de Allende to sell a dummy, whilst he again found a gap in the Toulouse defence for the second try before Conor Murray hit Earls for his second of the afternoon.
Ntamack and Carbery again traded successful penalty kicks before the break, but it was an inspired Toulouse outfit who returned for the second period.
They punctured several few holes in the Munster line, giving Ntamack space to chip over the top into the hands of Matthis Lebel who dived over for the try.
The two sides continued to trade blows, with flank Jack O’Donoghue crossing for the hosts and soon after, captain and hooker Julien Marchand crossing in similarly powerful fashion.
After more threes were traded by Ntamack and Carbery, Toulouse took full control in a blistering final 15 minutes.
It was Dupont with the name on the scoresheet but in truth it was a beautiful all-round move from Toulouse.
Cheslin Kolbe and Lebel combined to leave JJ Hanrahan on the deck before the latter found Dupont to run in and score at the sticks.
And the game was won with four minutes to play as a nice offload from Clement Castets hit the French scrumhalf yet again and he cleared away with ease to score under the posts and secure a spot in the last eight
Gavin Coombes would go over at the death for the hosts but was mere consolation for Munster.
Tries: Earls 2, Coombes 2
Con: Carbery, Casey
Pens: Carbery 2, Hanrahan
Tries: Lebel, Marchand, Dupont 2
Cons: Ntamack 4
Pens: Ntamack 4
Yellow card: Chris Farrell (Munster, 4 – cynical play)
Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander (captain), 7 Jack O’Donoghue, 6 Gavin Coombes, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 James Cronin, 18 John Ryan, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Fineen Wycherley, 21 Craig Casey, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Chris Cloete.
Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Zack Holmes, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Matthis Lebel, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Selevasio Tolofua, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Richie Arnold, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Julien Marchand (captain), 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Clément Castets, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Thibaud Flament, 21 Alban Placines, 22 Baptiste Germain, 23 Dimitri Delibes.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referee: Seán Gallagher, Chris Busby
TMO: Tom Foley