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Champions Cup

Edinburgh v Munster: Player Ratings & Highlights.

Munster Snatch Late Win in Edinburgh

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Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

A late Keith Earls try ensured that Munster progressed to the Champions Cup semi-finals with a 17-13 win over Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon.

The men in red will now face Saracens in the last four.

Edinburgh started the brighter of the two, going through the phases early and winning three penalties, each time going to the corner. However, Munster held strong to turn the ball over each time.

Ten minutes in and Tadhg Beirne was sent to the bin after preventing the home side from getting quick-ball away as they broke through the Edinburgh defence.

Munster not only managed to keep Edinburgh from scoring over the next 10 minutes but went ahead on 18 minutes when Keith Earls took a quick-tap and go inside the 22 and flew over.

Joey Carbery added the extras to make it 7-0.

On 26 minutes the electric Darcy Graham broke through the Munster defence and within seconds Chris Dean was over for a try. When Jaco Van Der Walt slotted over the additional two, the teams were level again.

A penalty seven minutes on for Edinburgh put them 10-7 up and things only got worse for the visitors as Carbery went off again with what looked like his hamstring injury flaring up once more.

That was the score at half-time as Edinburgh looked the more likely to go on to win.

Munster won a penalty early in the second-half which replacement Tyler Bleyendaal knocking it over to draw things level.

That lasted a mere four minutes as Van Der Walt hit a penalty for the hosts to put them 13-10 ahead with half an hour remaining.

That was how it stayed until the final 10 minutes when Earls got over for his second try of the game.

A swift move from Munster, started by Conor Murray, was finished unbelievably well by Earls, who dived over in the corner. Bleyendaal scored a difficult touch-line kick to make it 17-13 to Munster.

Despite almost four minutes of time after the 80 Edinburgh could not make the vital breakthrough as it stayed 17-13 and Munster progressed.

They will now face Saracens in the Champions Cup Semi Final.

Player Ratings

Edinburgh: Darcy Graham (7), Damien Hoyland (6), James Johnstone (6), Chris Dean (7), Duhan van der Merwe (6), Jaco Van Der Walt (7), Henry Pyrgos (5); Pierre Shoeman (6), Stuart McInally (7), WP Nel (6), Ben Toolis (6), Grant Gilchrist (6), John Barclay (6), Hamish Watson (6), Viliame Mata (7)

Replacements (6)

Munster: Andrew Conway (8), Darren Sweetnam (6), Chris Farrell (6), Rory Scannell (7), Keith Earls (9), Joey Carbery (6), Conor Murray (7); Dave Kilcoyne (7), Niall Scannell (7), John Ryan (7), Jean Kleyn (6), Tadhg Beirne (7), Peter O’Mahony (7), Jack O’Donoghue (6), CJ Stander (7)
Replacements (7)

Champions Cup

Champions Cup Round 1 Fixtures Confirmed

The Champions Cup opening round fixtures have been announced and there are some big games to kick-off the tournament

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(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

The first round of Champions Cup fixtures has been confirmed for the 2019/20 season with the tournament to begin on the weekend of the 15th of November.

Reigning champions Saracens will begin their title defence with a tough away trip to Racing 92 in what is the last game of the weekend on Sunday November 17th.

The other game in Pool 4 sees the Ospreys host Munster on Saturday November 16th.

Elsewhere, last season’s beaten finalists Leinster open their tournament with a home game against competition debutants Benetton on the Saturday, while Northampton Saints host Lyon in the other match in Pool 1.

The first game of what is the 25th edition of the tournament is the Pool 5 clash of Gloucester and Toulouse, as the reigning Top 14 champions look to go a step further than last season’s semi-final defeat to Leinster. Connacht play Montpellier in the groups other game on the Sunday.

In Pool 2 Glasgow Warriors take on Sale Sharks on the Saturday at 13 00, followed by La Rochelle vs Exeter Chiefs later that day.

At the same time as the Warriors vs Sharks game there is the Pool 3 match of Bath against Ulster, with Clermont hosting Harlequins in the final match of the Saturday fixtures.

The pool stages are set to finish on the second and third weekends of January, while the final itself takes place in the Stade de Marseille on May 23rd 2020.

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Champions Cup

Another Fijian Heads to Scotland

Glasgow Warriors have confirmed the signing of a Fijian star only two days after Edinburgh captured the signing of Mesulame Kunavula

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(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Glasgow Warriors have announced the signing of Fijian hooker Mesu Dolokota on a two-year deal from Fijian Drua.

The 24-year-old was named in Fiji’s World Cup training squad last month and will join up with the Warriors following the conclusion of the tournament in Japan.

Dolokoto is happy to be signing for the PRO 14 runners-up and is excited to feature in both the PRO 14 and the Champions Cup.

“I’m very happy to be joining Glasgow Warriors and I’m looking forward to playing in two of the best rugby competitions in the world. The opportunity to learn from such an experienced coaching team and play in such a successful team is very exciting for me. The club has a strong Fijian history and I hope I can be a big part of it going forward,” he said.

The hooker has nine international caps for Fiji as well as having experience in Super Rugby with the Brumbies in 2015 and Glasgow assistant coach John Dalziel is delighted to add more experience to the squad.

“Mesu is an exciting talent who will bring even more international experience to our front row. He isn’t your traditional front-row forward, he likes to bring a bit of Fijian flair to his game, but he can also do the basics very well and we’re excited to work with him when he shows up following international duty,” he said.

Dolokoto follows the footsteps of fellow Fijian Mesulame Kunavula, who joined Edinburgh only a couple of days ago and the PRO 14 can look forward to some Fijian flare next season.

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Champions Cup

Leinster Unveil New European and Alternative Jerseys

Leinster have revealed their European and alternative jerseys for the 2019/20 season

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster have unveiled their new Adidas European and alternative jerseys for the 2019/20 season.

The European jersey is an alteration on the traditional blue home jerseys worn by the reigning two-time PRO 14 champions.

Leinster have revealed that the jersey has been inspired by meteorites that were once used to create iron spears and will be worn by the club for the next two seasons.

“The pattern of the Leinster Rugby European jersey takes inspiration from meteorites that fell from the sky and were used by the Laighin people to create their iron spear. These meteorite formations form the graphic design of the jersey paying homage to the tale of the metal of the Gods, providing bold and vibrant energy for Leinster Rugby’s European campaign,” they said on their official website.

The alternative jersey is a shade of purple with black strips horizontally across the shirt.

They have said that this jersey is inspired by the purple skyline that is seen across the east coach of Ireland.

“The Alternate jersey embodies the electric energy of Ireland’s east coast at night. The iconic purple skyline forms the colour inspiration for this season’s kit. Incorporating a twist on the traditional hoop design, the kit harnesses the vibrant energy of the province, whilst maintaining a classic look and feel,” they added.

As well as the two new jerseys Leinster will continue to wear their Adidas home jersey from the 2018/19 season for the season ahead.

You can view the full Leinster Range for the up coming season here.

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