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    Munster find a little extra
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    Sunday December 17th 2006



    Quinlan's try at the death gives holders crucial bonus point


    MUNSTER 32


    CARDIFF 18


    BRENDAN FANNING


    AT the start of an evening which was a bit too festive for this competition, it was hard to see the white knuckle ride over the last few rapids, but that's what we got.


    It wasn't that there was a doubt over who would win the game, though Cardiff could have had a say in that in the last quarter, but as we plunged into extra time Munster were chasing the bonus point as if it were the difference between hanging on to their title and losing it.


    It's a bit early to suggest that much, but they need to keep maximum distance between themselves and Leicester before the showdown in Thomond Park after Christmas in the last game of the pool.


    Time and again, this team have proven the folly of backing against them.


    Such was Cardiff's appetite in the end game, however, that you thought Munster would have to be satisfied with four points instead of five.


    A long stoppage for treatment to replacement Mark Lewis, who had to be stretchered off, meant the game took off into injury time. The more Munster battered away, the more Cardiff refused to open up.


    The closest thing to daylight was when Munster worked the ball down the short side and Alan Quinlan threw a cut-out pass to Shaun Payne, when putting it through the hands of the man next to him might have done the trick. Payne was nailed in possession. Munster seemed out of ideas. Then they came up with one more.


    Earlier in their history in this competition, and in the same part of the same pitch, they worked a set play to Rob Henderson in the middle of the 22 and mauled him over.


    For Henderson read Trevor Halstead: same move, same finish, and with eight minutes of injury time gone, Ronan O'Gara added the points for a scoreline that told you little of the stressful periods endured along the way.


    From here, there is time to be filled in before it comes down to that final pool game. The filling will involve Munster and Leicester winning their penultimate rounds, perhaps with bonuses.


    Then they will meet in the decider, and if Munster can go into that game with their current lead of four points, they will be happy. It wouldn't afford them automatic protection, but it could prove very useful if a tight finish went against them.


    There was a moment in this game, where Denis Leamy's two first-half tries made him the man of the match, when Cardiff were looking at levelling the game 25-25 with about 15 minutes to go.


    They had turned over 25-13 down at half time, and then closed that gap with a solidly-built try finished by Lewis. A few minutes later, from a quickly-tapped penalty on their own 22, Ben Blair exploded on to the ball in midfield and popped it to Jamie Robinson.


    This was the same Jamie Robinson who had poached a flying score in the first half, with time to scoop up his own hack ahead and touch down. Now, he had 30 metres to go and nobody ahead. Had he held it he could have picked his spot to touch down. He dropped it.


    That should have emptied Cardiff, but they showed resilience in trying to keep their line intact at the finish. Yes, they got away with any number of penalties, and the only man to yellow on the night was Martyn Williams, late in the first half - unl
    \"As she lay there dozing next to me, one voice inside my head kept saying, \'Relax, you\'re not the first doctor to sleep with one of his patients\', but the another kept reminding me, \' you are a veterinarian!\'\"

    #2
    <DIV =printtext>Munster clinch a last-gasp bonus


    </DIV>
    <DIV =standard>Alan Quinlan's try in the fifth minute of injury time gave Munster a crucial bonus-point in their 32-18 victory over Cardiff in the Heineken Cup on Saturday.


    </DIV>
    <DIV =standard>


    After tonight's victory, a record 12th in a row in Europe, Munster head into the Christmas break with Leicester Tigers as their only challengers for qualification from the pool.


    Two first-half tries from Denis Leamy were followed by efforts from Barry Murphy and Quinlan which bookended the second period, as Munster used their traditional forward power to banish the Blues.


    Cardiff coach Dai Young will take much from his side's display, however, with the visitors far from overawed as they sought to end Munster's 30-match unbeaten run at home in Europe.


    Ben Blair kicked them in front and tries from Jamie Robinson and replacement Mark Lewis certainly rattled the hosts, but ultimately the Blues' bid to stay in touch for the last eight failed.


    New Zealander Blair atoned for an earlier miss by arrowing over his first penalty after only four minutes.


    But Cardiff's lead lasted all of four minutes as powerful number eight Leamy soon got over for Munster's opener, which saw them turn down a shot at the posts.


    Ronan O'Gara kicked a penalty to the corner, Munster won a close-in scrum and Leamy, who scored the champions' only try last week at the Arms Park, peeled off the back of the set piece to barge his way over.


    O'Gara converted and Leamy drew the cheers of the Thomond Park faithful again on 20 minutes when the quick thinking of Peter Stringer, who first forced Mike Phillips into kicking to touch and then took the throw himself, allowed him grab his second try.


    The fly-half converted and Munster were building up a head of steam.


    It was the perfect time for Cardiff to step up to the mark and they did so in style with their centre Jamie Robinson rounding off the half with a superb try.


    After Blair and O'Gara had swapped penalties, Robinson managed to silence the home crowd by scooping up a loose Munster pass, hacking the ball ahead and running a full 50 metres to score a memorable 40th-minute try.


    Blair's conversion left the game nicely poised at 17-13 in Munster's favour, but two incidents in injury-time helped Declan Kidney's side extend their lead.


    The Blues had flanker Martyn Williams sin-binned for killing the ball and O'Gara pinged over the resulting penalty.


    Stringer again helped set up a try for Munster, eight minutes into the second period.


    He rushed Phillips into a mistake at a scrum, Leamy fed Murphy and the fit-again centre showed his pace to dart through the cover defence and score.


    O'Gara's kick was wide and Cardiff hit back on the hour with their first meaningful attack of the half.


    Replacement prop Gary Powell found himself in acres of space, Williams and Blair then linked and the Kiwi sent Lewis galloping in for an excellently-worked try.


    Blair missed the kick and looked on in agony when, moments later, Jamie Robinson just failed to hold on to his pass when a breakaway try looked on.


    Cardiff could not capitalise on that purple patch and it was left to Quinlan, after some heroic defence from the visitors, to touch down in injury-time, chalking up another bonus point win for Munster after some vintage mauling.


    The scorers:


    For Munster:
    Tries:
    Leamy 2, Murphy, Quinlan
    Cons: O'Gara 3
    Pens: O'Gara 2


    For Cardiff Blues:
    Tries:
    Robinson, Lewis
    Con: Blair
    Pens: Blair 2


    Yellow card: Williams (Cardiff, 40, killing the ball)


    The teams:


    Munster: 15 Shaun Payne, 14 John Kelly,
    \"As she lay there dozing next to me, one voice inside my head kept saying, \'Relax, you\'re not the first doctor to sleep with one of his patients\', but the another kept reminding me, \' you are a veterinarian!\'\"

    Comment


      #3
      From the Dead site:

      Injury Time Bonus For Munster
      16 December 2006, 8:25 pm
      By Pat Geraghty
      A try in jury time try from Alan Quinlan converted by Ronan O'Gara
      gave Munster a 32-18 bonus point win against Cardiff Blues in
      Thomond
      Munster kept their hopes of qualification for the knock-out stages of
      the Heineken Cup right on track when they picked up a bonus point in
      their 32-18 win over a game and committed Cardiff Blues in
      Thomond Park.
      But the full house crowd were kept on tenterhooks right to the bitter
      end before Quinlan ended a period of Munster pressure to grab his
      side's fourth try.

      Two first half tries from Denis Leamy had the home side 23-13 up at
      the break and things looked good when Barry Murphy raced in for try
      number three in the 48th minute. However Cardiff were never going
      to lie down and have their bellies tickled and try from replacement
      Mark Lewis left just one score separating the sides.

      And Munster looked to be in trouble when Cardiff bust their defence
      in 65th minute and looked certain to score only for Jamie Robinson to
      spill a pass with a clear run to the sticks.

      Munster held their composure and set siege to the Blues line as they
      went looking not just for the bonus but the score that would secure
      this victory. It came from Quinlan and Munster face into Christmas
      top of Pool Four.

      Comment


        #4


        Munster are going all the way this year, we're building up a nice head of steam at the moment and the turning point of the season will be against Leinster in Thomond next week, when we are going to destroy them and kick start our Magners League campaign. Yesterday's match may well have had it's poor points but if anything all at this team are becoming legendary. There is a mental resolve there that has come from a magnificant year for Irish rugby, we have confidence in spades and we now have the believe to play our own game knowing we can take a step up when the bigger battles come at the business end of the tournament this year.


        Watch out Europe, you haven't seen the best of us yet. Arrogance it is not, confidence more like.


        Happy Christmas to the team and management, job well done.





        Frank the Tank is not coming back. OK? That part of me is over, water under the bridge.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Harry


          Munster are going all the way this year, we're building up a nice head of steam at the moment and the turning point of the season will be against Leinster in Thomond next week, when we are going to destroy them and kick start our Magners League campaign. Yesterday's match may well have had it's poor points but if anything all at this team are becoming legendary. There is a mental resolve there that has come from a magnificant year for Irish rugby, we have confidence in spades and we now have the believe to play our own game knowing we can take a step up when the bigger battles come at the business end of the tournament this year.


          Watch out Europe, you haven't seen the best of us yet. Arrogance it is not, confidence more like.


          Happy Christmas to the team and management, job well done.


          Thank God I've got the GPL, Top 14, Super 14 and 6 Nations to look forward to in January/February so, as it seems as if the ML and HEC are over already. Ah well, at least I won't have to waste any more of my money going to HEC/ML games, seeing as it's all sewn up already.


          I supose Harry will win the HEC Fantasy League too. [img]smileys/smiley38.gif[/img]





          New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

          Comment


            #6


            I can't wait for Munster will wipe the floor of you next week Old Dog, hopefully it will be x-rated.


            Only Jack Bauer can save Leinster next week, and he's not around.
            Frank the Tank is not coming back. OK? That part of me is over, water under the bridge.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Harry


              I can't wait for Munster will wipe the floor of you next week Old Dog, hopefully it will be x-rated.


              Only Jack Bauer can save Leinster next week, and he's not around.


              Any idea which luckless clown has been appointed to referee the turnipfest Harry?
              New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

              Comment


                #8
                Alan Lewis, apparently.

                Shameless self promotion time ladies and gents!
                Munster: Early Season
                Munster: Escape from Pool of Death
                Munster: HEC Champions 2007/2008
                Munster: Full Season Highlights.

                Comment


                  #9





                  BP try for BOPB at the death. 22 - 17


                  Gunners consolation try(against 13 man Glaws) 14 - 31 ft


                  and another for BOPB! 27 - 17ft - Bobo snaffles a couple in the last 4 minutes!
                  New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    12-3 sale
                    \"As she lay there dozing next to me, one voice inside my head kept saying, \'Relax, you\'re not the first doctor to sleep with one of his patients\', but the another kept reminding me, \' you are a veterinarian!\'\"

                    Comment

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