The win means they finished top of their pool but have been rewarded with a tough last eight match away to Edinburgh.
? POOL 2 FINAL STANDINGS ?
After a head-to-head battle, @Munsterrugby finish top ahead of @ExeterChiefs and are the only team to progress ?
While @CastresRugby finish above @gloucesterrugby after sneaking a late win ?#ChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/hmOIXwGvon— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 20, 2019
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:
Exeter Ace Signs Contract Extension
Following the news that England star Harry Williams has agreed a new deal with Exeter Chiefs another star player has committed his future to the Premiership giants
The eight-cap England international has agreed a new “long-term” deal that will see him remain at Sandy Park for the foreseeable future and he is delighted to be staying at his hometown club.
“Obviously, I’m delighted. To be at one club your whole career is pretty rare these days. The fact it’s my hometown club as well, it’s brilliant, and I feel very privileged to be part of the Chiefs. Luckily for me, I’ve been part of a brilliant journey – one which I know has plenty of miles still to go. What we have achieved as a club, as a team, and as individuals, it’s taken a huge amount of work and effort, but everyone has seen the result,” he said to the club’s website.
Moon has been with the Chiefs since his time in the academy and has managed to pick up an incredible 259 appearances for the club, notching 11 tries in that time.
He has been part of the team since their time in the English second-tier and has helped them rise up the ranks, culminating in a Premiership crown in 2017.
It is further good news for the current Premiership league leaders after fellow England international Harry Williams signed a contract extension with the club over the weekend as the Chiefs build toward the future.
EPCR Confirm European Competition Postponements
European Rugby have announced that the latter stages of the Champions and Challenge Cups will be pushed back due to coronavirus
EPCR have released a statement to confirm that the semi-final and final stages of this year’s Champions and Challenge Cup will be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week it was announced that the quarter-final stage set to take place across the first weekend of April would be suspended and now the final stages have followed suit as expected the ECPR have confirmed.
“Following a conference call on Monday, the EPCR board can reconfirm the suspension of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments and has furthermore decided to postpone the semi-final matches, as well as the 2020 Marseille finals, which were due to be played on the weekends of 1/2/3 May and 22/23 May respectively. In making the decision, the board is abiding by the official directives and recommendations of the relevant authorities in its territories to restrict the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of the earlier postponement of its quarter-final matches and with fixtures in Europe’s professional league competitions currently suspended due to the public health crisis, EPCR believes it necessary to provide as much clarity as possible to all stakeholders regarding the knockout stages of its tournaments. To that end, EPCR is working with the leagues and unions to restructure a conclusion to its season as part of a wider rescheduling of the remainder of the season in Europe, with all contingencies underpinned by the requirement to protect the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community. EPCR remains committed to completing the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season, and it is planned to reschedule the quarter-final and semi-final matches, as well as the Marseille finals, in line with fixtures in the professional league competitions, subject to advice from government and local authorities,” the statement read.
The final weekend was set to take place in Marseille and reports last weekend had claimed that officials were still hopeful of finishing there on the chosen date.
However, even with this announcement it is hard to see when they will conclude the European season as all domestic leagues have been suspended until further notice and the clock is ticking toward the start of next season as it appears unlikely that any rugby will be played in the foreseeable future.
Saracens Face EPCR Misconduct Hearing
Saracens are set to face yet another hearing but this time it’s on the European front
Saracens are set to face a misconduct hearing with the EPCR today at 18 00 the European Rugby body have confirmed.
The reigning Champions Cup holders are in trouble after they informed officials earlier in the week that they may have fielded an ineligible player during their Champions Cup win over Racing 92 last month which sealed them a quarter-final place.
The player in question is Titi Lamositele, who came off the bench in the 60th minute of the clash against the Top 14 side. It is understood that when the squad was announced for the game that the player was eligible.
However, his work permit did in fact expire on January 18th, with the game taking place on the 19th, which could have caused a breach in the disciplinary rules.
It is the latest blow in what has been a dramatic season to date for the Premiership outfit, who were found to have breached salary cap regulations in the competition and being fined and docked points before being relegated outright last month.
They were docked further points recently to ensure that they will finish the season in last place in the Premiership.
While on the European front they have already caused problems for the EPCR by failing to show up to the competition’s opening event.
Despite all the drama they have managed to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup and will face last season’s beaten finalists Leinster away from home, but it remains to be seen what their latest punishment could be if found guilty.