Munster moved top of Pool 1 after outclassing Racing 92, running in four tries in a 32-7 win in the rescheduled Champions Cup match.
Before the match there was a minute’s applause to remember Munster coach Anthony Foley. The club legend passed away in the team hotel in Paris the night before the original fixture was due to be played in October.
An emotional atmosphere was punctuated with multiple renditions of Fields of Athenry and the visitors rose to the occasion.
First-half tries from Simon Zebo, CJ Stander and Andrew Conway sent the away side into the break with a convincing 0-25 lead.
Niall Scannell’’s second-half try then secured the bonus point and Matheiu Voisin scored a late consolation for Racing as it finished 7-32.
— Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) 7 January 2017
The win sees the Irish side move top of Pool 1 while the hosts succumbed to their fourth defeat, leaving them rooted to the bottom with no points from four games.
Munster scored the first points of the match in the 14th minute. Racing had been repeatedly infringing at the breakdown and finally paid the price when Tyler Bleyendaal comfortably slotted home an easy penalty attempt.
The visitors extended their lead with a try from Zebo in the 22nd minute, the winger scoring his 50th Munster try. A big carry from captain Peter O’’Mahony rattled the Parisians’ before his full-back seized the ball and evaded the attentions of the defence before touching down to make the score 0-8.
Stander scored the Irish side’’s second try in the 36th minute, the Ireland international charging down Benjamin Dambielle’s kick before running through out wide. Bleyendaal converted to make the lead 0-18.
Conway was the next over for Munster just before the break, the winger seizing upon Conor Murray’’s grubber to touch down in the corner. Bleyendaal converted to make Munster’s half-time lead an impressive 0-25.
Scannell then secured his side’’s fourth try just before the hour mark, the hooker peeling off the back of a rolling maul to secure the bonus point. Bleyendaal added the extras to establish a commanding 32-point lead.
Racing scored a consolation try in the 65th minute when Voisin seized upon a kick through from Juan Imhoff to score. After the TMO ruled that he was on-side the try was awarded, and Dan Carter added the conversion from out wide to make the score 7-32.
The day however was Munster’s, as they produced a performance Foley would have been proud of.
Tries: Zebo, Stander, Conway, N Scannell
Cons: Bleyendaal 3
Pens: Bleyendaal 2
Racing 92: 15 Juan Imhoff, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Anthony Tuitavke, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Benjamin Dambielle, 9 Xavier Chauveau, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Matthieu Voisin, 6 Chris Masoe, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Khatchik Vartanov
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Ali Williams, 20 So’otala Fa’aso’o, 21 James Hart, 22 Dan Carter, 23 Henry Chavancy
Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Ronan O’Mahony, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Keith Earls, 23 Francis Saili
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
— Racing 92 (@racing92) 7 January 2017