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Munster off to the Millennium Stadium

Munster off to the Millennium Stadium

Munster qualify for Final of the European Cup following a red hot victory of 25 points to 17, over French side Castres, in the Stade de la Mediterranee in Beziers.

Trailing by 9 points to 0, until Ronan O’Gara scored a penalty in the 39th minute of the first half, Munster were finding themselves under much pressure from the impressive penalty-kicking and scoring ability of the wee Frenchman, Roman Tuelet. Otherwise known as ‘Robocop’, it is clear what his intention, as was the aim of the Castres side, to terminate Munster. Yet this was not to be the case. Munster, resolute in their aim in winning this competition, proved themselves again to be great rugby side that they are, and fought back to win this game, with an impressive scoring margin of 25 over Castres 17 points.

In this decisive semi-final tie, it was the inspiring penalty scoring of Ronan O’Gara that propelled Munster to victory. Even after sustaining an injury 4 minutes into the second half, a cut to the knee that required sideline stitching, O’Gara played on and scored 3 penalties and 1 conversion to boost Munster’s score line. Overall scoring 6 penalties in this game, O’Gara clocked up 20 points of Munster overall 25.

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A late try scored by John Kelly added the final touches to Munster annihilation of Castres. Munster did concede a late try to the French, with Sean Longstaff scoring in the 45th minute of the second half. (Just under 6 minute extra time was played in the second half.)

Today’s ‘tres magnifice’ performance ensures that the showdown in the Millennium Stadium will be one of dynamic proportions. Those interested should mark the date in their diary. May 25 2002. Munster’s date with destiny…