Munster sink Toulon 45-18

16 10 2010

A bright sunny Thomond park welcomed the big-spenders of French rugby, Toulon, on Saturday afternoon. Munster had a lot to prove coming off the back of two losses to Leinster and London Irish, and in the very first minute they had conceded a try to Toulon, hooker Genevois going over. It seems that Munster play their best rugby when they are up against it, and almost immediately they had Toulon pinned back in their own 22 pushing for a try. After 6 minutes Toulon flanker George Smith saw yellow for slowing the ball down, Munster twice chose to go for the lineout instead of taking the points, it was clear that they meant business and captain Denis Leamy went over for a try after 9 minutes of sustained Munster pressure which saw them have two tries disallowed by the TMO. Munster’s lineout woes from last week were behind them and prop Tony Buckley went over for a try halfway through the first half, with Dougie Howlett adding another before halftime leaving the score 21-10 after  40 minutes.

Toulon’s Johnny Wilkinson made an appearance early in the second half and immediately made an impact slotting over a drop goal. Toulon had the lions-share of possession in the second half but Munster still looked extremely dangerous on the break, Felipe Contepomi received a yellow card for a professional foul after 57 mins and this is where the game unraveled for the French side. Mick O’Driscoll scored a try soon after securing the bonus point and Dougie Howlett scrambled over for a try 4 minutes later to secure the game for Munster. Jerry Flannery made a brief return to action, he playing 20 minutes before limping off the field. Munster flanker James Coughlan powered over for the final try of the game 2 minutes from time to leave the final score a convincing win for Munster 45-18. Special mention for man-of-the-match winner Mick O’Driscoll who along with Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer who put in superb performances. This was an old-school Munster performance showing huge heart, sending out a warning to all other teams in the tournament, Munster are back!

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