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WATCH: Munster Beat Chiefs in Hard Fought Battle – Report & Highlights

Exeter Chiefs fall short in their quest for history

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Munster came out on top of a Heineken Champions Cup epic encounter against the Exeter Chiefs in Thomond Park on Saturday to progress to the quarter-finals.

The win means they finished top of their pool but have been rewarded with a tough last eight match away to Edinburgh.

Exeter were looking to become the first team to be winless after the first three pool games and still qualify and knew that if they won and denied Munster a bonus point, they would advance.

Munster started well with last weekend’s man of the match Joey Carbery slotting home an early 6th minute penalty to settle the nerves.

However, seven minutes later, and after some great work in the opposition 22, Chiefs back rower Dan Armond bundled his way over from the back of a ruck for the only try of the game.

That was converted and the Chiefs led 7-3 by the 14th minute.

Come the 22nd minute Carbery took stuck another penalty over the bar to make it 7-6 in the Chiefs favour.

Exeter had a couple of opportunities from penalties to take three points and extend their lead before but decided to take their approach from the Premiership and go for full marks, each time failing to score.

It remained a one-point game right up until the 72nd minute when Carbery continued is fine form from the tee and scored a penalty to hand Munster a two-point advantage heading into the final minutes.

The Chiefs continued to fight right to the end, even in the 80th minute they had 22 phases until being tackled into touch resulting in a 9-7 win for Munster and knocking Exeter out.

After the game Munster’s Niall Scannell reflected on one of the toughest games, he has ever played in.

“Probably test match level rugby”, he said in an interview admitting it was tiring even watching from the bench after being substituted.

The win was overshadowed by injuries to Tadhg Beirne, Andrew Conway and Tommy O’Donnell. With man of the match Beirne now set to miss Ireland’s opening two matches of the 6 Nations.

A trip to Edinburgh awaits, in the clubs 18th European Champions Cup quarter-final appearance, but they will hope to have a full squad available before heading to Scotland.

Match Highlights below:

Champions Cup

Toulon boss unloads on Savea AGAIN

He’s said more…

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Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images

We didn’t think the situation surrounding Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal could get any more ridiculous after the comments made by Mourad Boudjellal following his side’s defeat to Agen on the weekend.

If you’ve missed the original comments (were you living under a rock?) were Savea was effectively ‘released’ and suffered a major verbal spray, you need to get up to speed and read them (Click here)

Boudjellal hasn’t stopped there though. After Julian Savea publicly responded to his bosses comments on Twitter, the Toulon owner has unleashed yet another spray directed at Savea to French Newspaper Le Parisien.

“I find his behaviour unacceptable. I went through the quarter-finals of the 2015 France-New Zealand World Cup and I always wonder if it’s the same player, the same man,”

“What I do not admit is that we pay him dearly. The negotiations have been very difficult, he has been very demanding and since he has been here, he is no longer. I can not think it’s normal for a player paid more than 1 million euros per year to go on holiday to Fiji for a month in December…he just had to attend his brother’s wedding, not take long leave,”

Boudjellal says he has spoken to Savea after the initial criticism.

“Oh yes. He is very nice, polite. They are very strong, with his wife, to complain about social networks. When he was in Fiji, he did not look unhappy. He tweeted that he was going to train hard. He will not be disappointed. He has a little more than a year of contract, it will be very long for him. Beyond what he thinks. I will not complain. You think he gave a little of his salary to the young Simon Moretti, who is 18, touches 500 euros a month and defended the club while he returned quietly vacation? No.”

Savea’s teammates and other high profile players have rallied around Savea, but the Toulon owner had a stern rebuke. You can see their responses on this link.

“Well, let them make a kitty to free him from his contract! That way, he can take the money and say shit to his president. It’s easy to post messages, but if they had to give some of their money, they would be fewer. I want it to serve as an example.”

“We do not come to Toulon as a tourist. There is enough in the region. And when you’re paid a lot of money, the least you can do is give yourself.

Savea hasn’t been the only one in the firing line. Rhys Webb also has made the headlines with some interesting comments coming from both parties.

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Toulon boss takes aim at Rhys Webb

“His agents are offering him all over Wales, while he still owes us one more year on his contract.”

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Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Toulon’s president, Mourad Boudjellal is not known for being a shy, reserved , hide in the background style owner. He’s the opposite but this weekend the Toulon boss has gone nuclear!

Yesterday, his comments about Julian Savea made headlines, stating he was releasing the All Black (read the comments here) following the defeat to Agen.

Savea was not the only one in the firing line. Rhys Webb was also in line for a verbal spray.

The Welsh scum-half has been in the news lately after his family failed to settle in France and have returned home . Rumours have been circulating that Rhys Webb would also like to return home. The Toulon boss is most likely aware of these rumours and made the below comments to the French media,

“His agents are offering him all over Wales, while he still owes us one more year on his contract.”Don’t worry, I won’t hold him back.”

His agent Derwyn Jones, speaking on behalf of the Webb, said:

“The last month or so has been really difficult for Rhys with his family moving back to Wales because one of his sons found it hard to settle out there and adjust to being in a French language school.

“However, Rhys wants to make it clear he hasn’t had any conversations with the club at all about leaving Toulon.

“He has a strong family network which will support his fiancée and children back home in Bridgend.

“Toulon have openly said he’s one of the most professional players they have come across.

“Rhys’s immediate goal is to help the club start winning again and make the top six in the French league.

“The club have spoken to me to say they are concerned about how Rhys will cope without his family.

“But Rhys has assured me he’s committed to the club.

“The club have not indicated to me they are unhappy with Rhys, which is a totally separate conversation.

“So Rhys remains committed to the team.”

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Savea and Twitter responds to Toulon Boss comments.

Several pro’s have come out in support of Savea.

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In the strange world we live in, somehow the news that Dan Carter is returning to European Rugby was dwarfed by the comments made by Toulon Boss after his side lost to Agen.

The Toulon boss went on a tirade picking out players for public criticism in an astonishing rant that has to be seen to be believed. You can read all the comments here.

The brunt of the abuse was directed in Julian Savea’s direction.

“I am going to ask for a DNA test,” “Saveaapas not recruited but Savéapas, who had to change him on the plane. I would apologize and I would go home and when you get to that level of play, you have to apologize and leave, maybe it’s just a matter of self-esteem. Is it me who feeds my family or is it the club? “

“I told him he was released, and he was no longer welcome at Toulon! He has got a year left on his contract. He can do what he wants. A year can be long for the club but especially for the player… for me he is released,”

Savea who was talked up as one of the World’s Best Winger over the last few years due to his stunning try scoring ratio with the All Blacks (46 Tries in 54 Tests) has not enjoyed the best of starts to his Toulon career and if the Toulon Boss is serious with his comments, it’s over.

Julian Savea addressed the situation this morning via his Twitter:

Several professional players of past and present have publicly supported Savea via Twitter.

Former Toulon start Drew Mitchell was quick off the mark with his support and included the club and boss in his comments:

Well said my uce just keep on doing what you can control with that positive attitude and you will go along way.— Joe Rokocoko (@J_Rokocoko) February 18, 2019

#onwardsandupwards brother 👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽— Bryan Habana (@BryanHabana) February 18, 2019

The man dox ❤️— NGANI LAUMAPE (@NLaumape) February 18, 2019

Shot uce🔥🔥— Bundee Aki (@bundeeaki12) February 18, 2019

I doubt we’ve heard the last of this situation!

Savea wasn’t the only player targeted, you can read the rest of his comments here.

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