Planet Rugby

Quins stun Munster to reach final

30th April 2011 14:53

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Amlin Challenge Cup Munster v Harlequins Nick Easter Maurie Fa asavalu Chris Robshaw

Enjoying the win: Nick Easter, Maurie Fa'asavalu and Chris Robshaw

Harlequins caused one of the biggest upsets in Amlin Challenge Cup history when they downed Munster 20-12 at Thomond Park in the semi-final on Saturday.

Quins started the match as underdogs against a team that lost just one home game in 16 seasons in European competition, but they were not fazed by their opponents' continental pedigree and looked up for it from the start.

They were rewarded for their early dominance eight minutes into the game when George Robson crashed over for the first try. After taking the ball through the middle, they created an overlap and the lock found himself on the wing. All he had to do was collect and dive over. Nick Evans added the extras.

The visitors were unlucky not to increase their lead six minutes later when several players had a stab at the whitewash, but couldn't quite get over.

Six minutes before the break they finally doubled their lead through scrum-half Danny Care. Full-back Mike Brown and fly-half Evans were both held up just short but Care picked up from half a metre and crashed over.

Munster kept themselves in touch when Felix Jones joined the line from full-back and powered past opposite number Brown in the 39th minute.

Quins fly-half Rory Clegg, on for the injured Evans, landed two penalties in the second half to extend his side's advantage to 13 points entering the final 20 minutes.

Despite losing number eight Nick Easter to a second yellow card for coming in from the side of the ruck and conceding a late try to full-back Doug Howlett, Harlequins held on for a famous win.

The visitors' shock win sees them progress to the final on May 28 in Cardiff where they will meet Stade Franšais following their 29-25 win over Top 14 rivals Clermont on Friday.

The scorers:

For Munster:

Tries: Jones, Howlett
Con: O'Gara

For Harlequins:

Tries: Robson, Care
Cons: Evans, Care
Pens: Clegg (2)

The teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Lifeimi Mafi, 12 Paul Warwick, 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 Paul O'Connell, 20 Donnacha Ryan, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Johne Murphy.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Gonzo Camacho, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cairns, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 Mark Lambert, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Will Skinner, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Ross Chisholm.

Referee: Romain Poite

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