Planet Rugby

40-phase drop-goal wins it for Munster

12th November 2011 17:50

Share:

Munster v Northampton Ronan O Gara drop goal

Late hero: Ronan O'Gara

Northampton had an historic victory snatched from their grasp as a late drop-goal from Ronan O'Gara saw Munster win 23-21 at Thomond Park.

Saints had looked to be heading to a vital Pool win even at such an early stage in the campaign. But with the scores at 20-21, Munster launched a 40-phase attack before Limerick favourite O'Gara sat back in the pocket and ultimately did the rest.

Last year's runners-up, Northampton, must have thought they had done enough to claim a rare away win at Thomond Park when tries from Chris Ashton and James Downey and eleven points from Ryan Lamb's boot put them two points up.

But, after first half tries from Damien Varley and Doug Howlett had kept Munster in contention, it was O'Gara, whose kick at the death, that won it.

It was Munster who started brighter with Varley going over with just three minutes on the match clock. It was a statement from the young side.

Saints hit back though almost immediately when wing Ashton went over after great work from Ben Foden. Lamb converted and then hit two further first half penalties.

Northampton were then stunned by the first of two late-half spells from Munster, the first seeing Howlett break the line and O'Gara convert to send the hosts into the sheds ahead.

O'Gara then drew first blood in the second 40 with three points before Lamb responded with one of his own three minutes later at the special venue, which was lapping up the spectacle.

Then came another example of Northampton's power up front, particularly at scrum-time, as their strong platform allowed former Munster centre Downey to dummy and go in untouched. Playmaker Lamb missed the extras but Saints were ahead until the dying embers.

Cue Munster drawing on all of their European experience and with 40 phases amassed, O'Gara sat back and knocked over a sweet drop-goal for victory.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Varley, Howlett
Con: O'Gara 2
Pen: O'Gara 2
Drop: O'Gara

For Northampton:
Tries: Ashton, Downey
Con: Lamb
Pen: Lamb 3

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Denis Hurley, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 John Ryan, 18 John Hayes, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Denis Leamy, 21 Tomas O'Leary, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Will Chambers.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Vas Artemyev, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Steve Myler, 23 George Pisi.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
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
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
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
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00