A late try by Trevor Leota ended Munster's hopes of Heineken Cup glory for another year. Munster led by ten points with ten minutes to go but two yellow cards for Munster ensured a Wasps victory.
A late try by Trevor Leota ended Munster's hopes of Heineken Cup glory for another year. Munster led by ten points with ten minutes to go but two yellow cards for Munster ensured a Wasps victory.Munster were first off the mark when Ronan O'Gara slotted over a penalty after just two minutes. However, Wasps hit back straight away when Josh Lewsey ran a great line to score their first try, and Alex King converted. O'Gara and King then exchanged penalties, before the Corkman closed the gap to one point with another great kick at goal. However, tragically for Munster that was to be his last contribution to the game as a bruising tackle from Voyce resulted in a hamstring injury that signaled the end of his match. However, his replacement Jason Holland was more than adequate cover, and proved just that to take the lead with a penalty on 38 minutes. However, Wasps weren't done yet, and when Howley charged down a clearance from Holland and passed to Paul Volley there was no stopping the flanker. King converted to see it 12-17 at halftime.If the first half was a scrappy and frantic affair, then the second half was incident and try packed.Wasps dealt Munster a hammer blow within two minutes of the restart when Tom Voyce broke up-field to set up Mark van Gisbergen for the Londoners third try. Munster hit back with a penalty from Holland before a break from Simon Keogh set up Anthony Foley for Munster's first try. Holland converted to take the lead, before skipper Jim Williams had scored their second. Holland again converted and Munster had a ten point lead.However, two yellow cards for Donncha O'Callaghan and Rob Henderson within the space of ten minutes cost Munster that cushion and possibly the match as Wasps duly punished them. Firstly with a penalty from King, and then a converted try from Voyce, which leveled the score at 32-all two minutes into injury time.As the crowd prepared for extra time, Wasps continued to mount pressure on the Munster defense and a scrum 5 metres out released Samoan hooker Trevor Leota, who charged over the line despite the attentions of Stringer and Payne. King sent the extras wide, but it didn't matter, Munster just ran out of time.
For the fifth year in a row, Munster made the semi-finals of the HEC. However, despite a home draw and the phenomenal support from the Red Army behind them, Wasps were simply too good. The Londoners now face Toulouse in the final at Twickenham on May 23rd.Munster: Cullen, Kelly, Mullins, Henderson, Payne, O'Gara, Stringer, Horan, Sheahan, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Williams, Keogh, Anthony Foley.Reps: Flannery, McIlwham, Pusey, Halvey, Reddan, Holland, Horgan.Wasps: Van Gisbergen; Lewsey, Waters, Abbott, Voyce; King, Howley; Dowd, Leota, Green, Shaw, Birkett, Worsley, Volley, Dallaglio.Reps: Payne, Gotting, Purdy, Lock, Richards, Denney, Erinle.Full Details at: www.munsterrugby.ie
Tickets are now on sale for the first ever Women's November International Series to be held in the UCD Bowl. Kids go free with any adult tickets. Ireland will face world champions England, top ranked Canada and the Black Ferns of New Zealand.
Tournament Director Garrett Tubridy sets the scene for an exciting weekend of rugby at UCD where 16 Women's Sevens teams will battle it out at for one qualifying spot for the Rio Olympics. Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie/sevens.
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Paddy Jackson is preparing for Ireland's second Test against South Africa on Saturday (kick-off 5pm local time/4pm Irish time). The Ulster out-half has been checking out Ellis Park in advance of the match.
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The Ireland Women's 15-a-side captain Niamh Briggs was part of the Irish Development team that won the Amsterdam 7s title recently. Next up is the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia this weekend and then a shot at Olympic Sevens qualification at UCD on June 25-26.