Munster booked their place in the Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals on Saturday, claiming a thrilling 42-37 win over Brive.
Munster booked their place in the Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals on Saturday with a thrilling 42-37 win over Brive.
Doug Howlett and Keith Earls scored two tries each in a ding dong battle that eventually saw the lead change hands a number of times.
The former Heineken Cup champions will now face Harlequins in the semi-finals.
Munster grabbed the early lead when Howlett touched down in the first minute! The visitors were playing exciting rugby and moved further ahead when Earls score three minutes later.
Brive however were sparked into life and lock Retief Uys and centre Fabrice Estebanez both scored to add to Mathieu Belie's earlier penalty to put the hosts ahead.
Howlett scored his second on the counter before Belie added another penalty to give Brive a 20-19 lead at half time.
Belie extended his side's lead just after the interval but it was Munster through the combination of Howlett and Earls who got the next try.
Howlett ripped through the defence and gave Earls the easiest of run-ins to the corner. O'Gara converted and was lining up another effort four minutes later after Peter Stringer grabbed a loose ball to score, just moments after coming on.
Stringer's try gave Munster the edge and three O'Gara penalties without reply looked to have taken them out of sight.
But just when Brive needed a score the impressive Alexis Palisson grabbed an interception try. Belie converted, reducing the deficit to 12.
Shaun Perry, a late replacement for Brive scored a try at the death to set up a grandstand finish but Munster held on and move through to the last four.
Tries: Howlett 2, Earls 2, Stringer
Cons: O'Gara 4
Pens: O'Gara 3
For Brive :
Tries: Uys, Estebanez, Palisson, Perry
Cons: Belie 4
Pens: Belie 3
Brive: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Guillaume Namy, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Mathieu Belie, 9 Augustin Figuerola, 8 Julien Le Devedec, 7 Antoine Claassen, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Retief Uys, 4 Thibault Dubarry, 3 Pablo Cardinali, 2 Benoit Cabello, 1 Davit Kinchagishvili.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Philippe Bonrepaux, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Pat Barnard, 19 Arnaud Mela, 20 Simon Azoulai, 21 Fabien Domingo, 22 Shaun Perry, 23 RÃ©gis Lespinas.
Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Lifeimi Mafi, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 David Wallace, 6 Denis Leamy, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 John Hayes, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Niall Ronan, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Paul Warwick, 23 Johne Murphy.
Venue:Stadium Municipal AmÃ©dÃ©e Domenech
Referee: David Pearson
Assistant referees: JP Doyle, Stuart Terheege