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Munster Bow Out With Heads Held High

In front of their famed Red Army, Munster suffered the cruellest exit imaginable from the Heineken Champions Cup as Toulouse claimed a 4-2 penalty shootout win.

A run of 17 points without reply, including converted tries from Keith Earls and Mike Haley, had Johann van Graan’s men in a strong position, leading 24-14 midway through the second half.

However, Toulouse showed their class by battling back to take the game to extra-time. Two scoreless periods followed before the visitors’ kickers held their nerve in the shootout.

Despite the heart-breaking finish to the quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium, Munster hooker Niall Scannell was still proud of their performance against the reigning champions and also praised the province’s incredible fans.

“I suppose what we’ve all been through during Covid, to see it all back again is such a massive occasion. We haven’t had one like that in a while and that was unbelievably special,” he said, referring to the noise and colour generated by the crowd of 40,476.

“When you think about how all you listen to in the media is about how tough it is for all families, everyone out there working.

“For people to spend their hard-earned money getting in the car, the train to come and watch us, for what turned out to be about four hours!

“I think it’s important that they never leave us down. I remember coming off at half-time when he had that turnover and such an incredible buzz. It’s special on a day like today.”