Planet Rugby

Zebo hat-trick sinks 14-man Racing

20th January 2013 14:40

Share:

simon zebo

Hat-trick hero: Simon Zebo

Munster wing Simon Zebo bagged a hat-trick of tries to help his team qualify for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals after beating Racing Metro 29-6 at Thomond Park on Sunday.

Needing maximum points to qualify for the play-offs, Munster's bonus-point win means two-time defending champions Leinster bow out of the tournament.

Racing Metro, who had no chance of reaching the last eight, were out to play the spoilers role. And for a small portion of the match, they didn't disappoint - despite losing flank Antoine Batut to a red card in the sixth minute.

The loose forward was given his marching orders immediately by Wayne Barnes after the referee spotted Batut drop his knee into Keith Earls at the bottom of a ruck.

Whilst the French outfit's loss was Munster's gain, 14-man Racing Metro continued to make a game of it and were on the board first thanks to a penalty kick by full-back Gaetan Germain.

Scoreless after 25 minutes, Munster finally hit their straps and crossed for two tries in the space of two minutes.

First, scrum-half Conor Murray powered over after breaking off the back of a rolling maul, before Zebo found himself on the receiving end of a three-man overlap and finished off in the corner. Ian Keatley converted one of the two five-points and Munster fans were slightly more relieved with the 12-3 scoreline.

Germain closed the gap to six points with another penalty kick in the 31st minute, but Munster banked their third try soon after when hooker Mike Sherry crossed the whitewash off a line-out and drive.

Keatley was once again unable to add the extras, but the red army were one more try and forty minutes away from achieving a place in the knock-out stages at half-time (17-6).

Munster were breathing fire in the second half and it was only a matter of time before the all-important fourth try would arrive. And when it did, it was one to behold.

After Doug Howlett was denied earlier by the dead-ball line following a moment of brilliance from the former All Blacks wing, the ball was shifted to Zebo who showed some expert finishing to collect a grubber kick ahead to clinch the vital bonus-point his team required to maintain progress in the competition.

Zebo completed his hat-trick in the 54th minute with another piece of magic to secure the victory and a place in the quarter-finals.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Murray, Zebo 3, Sherry
Cons: Keatley 2
Yellow card: Paddy Butler (foul play, 80th minute)

For Racing Metro:
Pens: Germain 2
Red card: Batut (foul play, 6th min)
Yellow card: Masi Matadigo (late tackle, 78th min)

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Keith Earls, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 John Ryan, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Casey Laulala.

Racing Metro: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Julien Jane, 13 Guillaume Bousses, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Sereli Bobo, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Mathieu Belie, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Antoine Batut, 5 Fabrice METZ, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Benjamin Sa, 2 Benjamin Noirot, 1 Julien Brugnaut.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Andrea Lo Cicero, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 20 Benjamin Fall, 21 Santiago Dellape, 22 Sebastien Descons, 23 Masi Matadigo,

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820