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Rampant Munster bully the French

Heineken Cup

By Aidan Corr, Thomond Park
Munste 47, Toulouse 23
HAPPY days returned to Thomond Park today as Munster taught Toulouse a lesson in quality rugby to advance to the last four of the Heineken Cup. Even the loss of captain Peter O’Mahony did not affect Munster who treated the packed attendance to a feast of tries.
With the game nicely poised at 13-9 at the break, the first score of the second half was always going to be crucial and a two try blitz tries from in seven minutes from Dave Kilcoyne and CJ Stander and two conversions by Keatley put Munster 27/9 in front. The French hit back with a wonderful try from Hosea Gear converted by Lionel Beauxis to make it 27-16.
The tempo of the game went up a gear in the last 20 minutes as Toulouse came in search of another score but Munster increased their lead to 14 points when Keatley again hit the target from a penalty. 30-16 to Munster. Casey Laulala went in for another try to bring the lead to 35-16. A try by Steenkampt converted by Beuxis gave the visitors hope at 35 23 but a Zebo try sealed it for the hone side. Right at the whistle Paul O’Connell got over and Keatley converted to give Munster s fully deserved 47-23 victory.
Munster got a great start to the game with a try by Keith Earls after four minures. They dominated possession but a Luke McAlister penalty made it 7-3. Keatley kicked penalties on and 21 minutes but Toulouse finished strongly with a brace of McAlister penalties to leave the visitors trailing 13-9 at half time.
Munster Rugby: Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, BJ Botha, Dave Foley, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony (c), Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan
Replacements: Duncan Casey, John Ryan, Alan Cotter, Donncha O’Callaghan, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Gerhard van den Heever
Toulouse: Maxime M├ędard; Yoann Huget, Florian Fritz, Gael Fickou, Hosea Gear; Lionel Beauxis, Jano Vermaak; Gurthro Steenkamp, Christopher Tolofua, Yohan Montes, Yoann Maestri, Patricio Albacete (c), Yacouba Camara, Joe Tekori, Louis Picamoles
Replacements: Jaba Bregvadze, Cyril Baille, Schalk Ferreira, Romain Millo-Chluski, Gillian Galan, Jean-Marc Doussain, Luke McAlister, Yannick Nyanga
Referee, Nigel Owens, WRU.

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