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Munster

Six-try Munster too good for Toulouse

05th April 2014 15:21

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Munster prop Dave Kilcoyne on a run in Heineken Cup quarter final

Scored: Dave Kilcoyne

Munster secured their place in the Heineken Cup semi-finals after they beat Toulouse 47-23 with a six-try showing in Limerick on Saturday.

Keith Earls got the only score of the first-half in the opening stages, and Toulouse will have been happy to go in with only a four-point deficit, mainly thanks to the boot of Luke McAlister, after Munster had dominated the first 40.

Five second-half tries from Dave Kilcoyne, CJ Stander, Casey Laulala, Simon Zebo and Paul O'Connell crushed any hopes of a comeback for Toulouse, as Munster thumped them with an exhibition of show-stopping rugby.

With the home crowd roaring them on, Munster flew out the traps. They immediately put Toulouse on the back-foot and only six minutes in, Earls went over in the corner to give the home side an early lead.

Kiwi fly-half, McAlister, soon replied with a penalty to keep the French side within touching distance on the scoreboard. But Ian Keatley hit back to restore the seven-point cushion for Munster.

The Red Army then took the initiative again, and had Toulouse retreating well in to their 22. A strong driving maul almost brought a try for Conor Murray, only for the Irishman to be held up on the try-line.

The resulting scrum led to another penalty from Keatley to put the score at 13-3.

Toulouse were struggling to get any sort of rhythm at this stage and much of their play looked loose. Yet, McAlister went on to punish some of Munster's sloppy play with two more penalties to keep the visitors well in the game as they trailed 13-9 at the break.

The second-half start was symmetrical with the first, as Munster blew Toulouse away and scored a try almost straight from the kick-off. A driving maul led to Murray almost going over again, and Kilcoyne was there to back up and go over to put the hosts 20-9 ahead.

Toulouse responded well, and had Munster camped well in their half before Earls intercepted and kicked the ball well down-field to put all the pressure back on to the visitors.

That pressure ended in first-half replacement Stander going over under the posts to give the hosts a commanding 27-9 with half an hour still to play.

Toulouse again responded well to the setback and scored arguably the try of the game when Hosea Gear went through the Munster back-line after a flowing move.

Toulouse were now beginning to have a lot of the ball and continuously broke the Munster back-line, but they couldn't get another score and Munster hit them with a sucker-punch. Lionel Beauxis tried a cute penalty and Munster capitalised for Laulala to go over in acres of space. The score left Munster 35-16 in front.

Toulouse came back again with a score of their own as Samoan lock, Joe Tekori, bulldozed his way over to reduce his side's arrears to 35-23.

As they did all game, Munster then quashed any hope Toulouse had of making a comeback as they breached their counterparts back-line again as Irish star, Zebo went over in the corner kill the game as a contest.

Munster added gloss to their victory in the last play of the game as talismanic lock, O'Connell, went over under the posts to round off a near perfect performance for the Irish giants to seal their march in to the semi-finals.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Earls, Kilcoyne, Stander, Laulala, Zebo, O'Connell
Con: Keatley 4
Pen: Keatley 3

For Toulouse:
Tries: Gear, Tekori
Con: Beauxis 2
Pen: McAlister 3

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony (c), 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Dave Foley, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Duncan Casey, 17 John Ryan, 18 Alan Cotter, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Gerhard van den Heever.

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Joe Tekori, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Yohan Montes, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Cyril Baille , 19 Romain Millo-Chluski, 20 Gillian Galan, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Lionel Beauxis, 23 Clement Poitrenaud.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

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