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
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00