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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

Ulster make changes for Toulouse

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster match-day squad has been named for the Second Leg of the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 versus Toulouse at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday evening.

Nick Timoney will make his 100th appearance for the Ulster men, as he is named to start at openside – with Marcus Rea at blindside and Duane Vermeulen at Number Eight. Andrew Warwick comes in to start at loosehead, and will pack down with Rob Herring at hooker and Marty Moore at tighthead. Captain Iain Henderson will partner with Alan O’Connor in the engine room.

Mike Lowry and Rob Baloucoune, who signed new 3-year contract extensions this week, are named at full-back and on the right wing respectively. Ethan McIlroy returns to take the left-wing starting berth. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume will form the midfield partnership, and John Cooney and Billy Burns are retained at scrum-half and out-half.

Brad Roberts, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell and Jordi Murphy will provide forward reinforcements, while Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall and Rob Lyttle will offer back line cover.

Ulster team to play Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 Second Leg, Saturday 16 April at Kingspan Stadium, 8pm kick-off, live on BT Sport, beIN Sports, and Sky Italia:

(15-9) Mike Lowry, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Jordi Murphy, Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall, Rob Lyttle.

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Champions Cup

Graham Rowntree Confirmed As Next Munster Head Coach

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to confirm that Graham Rowntree will be promoted from Forwards Coach to the role of Head Coach from July 1, 2022.

Rowntree will commence the role of Head Coach at the start of the 2022/23 season after signing a two-year deal.

The former England prop made the move to Limerick in October 2019 on completion of his Rugby World Cup coaching duties with Georgia Rugby.

In his third season as Forwards Coach Graham and family have settled well into Limerick life, noting earlier this year, “I have made my thoughts about this club widely known throughout my time so far, and for me and my family it really has been an easy decision, a non-decision if truth be told.

“We’ve put down roots here and have no desire to move anywhere else.”

With an impressive coaching CV and vast experience, Rowntree previously held coaching roles with the British and Irish Lions, England Rugby, Harlequins and Leicester Tigers.

Working closely with the IRFU, the province will advance with next steps in securing the backroom team that will work with Graham from next season as Head Coach Johann van Graan, Senior Coach Stephen Larkham, and Defence Coach JP Ferreira depart the province at the end of June.

IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora, commented, “I would like to thank the Munster Professional Game Committee for their work and diligence during this process.

“It is important that Munster have someone who understands the unique history and culture of the club and has the experience to maximise the talent in the squad.

“Graham was very impressive throughout this process and demonstrated he has the capabilities to spearhead the next chapter of Munster Rugby.”

On confirmation of the promotion, Graham Rowntree added, “I am hugely honoured to be taking over the role of Head Coach for a club of this calibre, one that means so much to me and my family.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed every moment here and I fortunately get to work with an incredible group of staff and players who share a common goal each day in striving for success for this club.

“I’ve talked about our fantastic supporters before and again at the weekend we stepped off the bus to a huge red welcome in Exeter. Who doesn’t want to be part of that, that’s special!

“I believe we have the established structures in place with the resources and facilities to match and that it will be a smooth transition for the coaching ticket we assemble in ensuring continued development and success for this club.

“Before then I have a role to complete this season and working closely with Johann, Steve, and JP is the immediate focus and priority for now.”

Commenting on the appointment, Munster Rugby CEO Ian Flanagan said, “Graham’s extensive coaching experience and knowledge for the game makes him the perfect candidate to lead this squad forward.

“With Graham stepping up at the start of the new season it will be a seamless and natural progression from the work that has been carried out to-date.

“For now, we will continue our focus on the remainder of this season with Graham supporting Johann and the coaching staff in achieving our goals.”

Munster Rugby Home Fixtures

Saturday, April 16

Champions Cup Round of 16: Munster v Exeter Chiefs, Thomond Park, 3pm; Buy tickets here

Friday, April 29

URC: Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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Champions Cup

Ulster name team for Toulouse

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster match-day squad has been selected for the first leg of the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 versus Toulouse at Le Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Ben Moxham will make his first European start for Ulster as he is named on the left wing alongside Mike Lowry at full-back and Robert Baloucoune on the right wing. Stuart McCloskey comes in to start and will partner with James Hume in the centre. Billy Burns and John Cooney return to form the half-back pairing.

The front row sees Eric O’Sullivan and Rob Herring named at loosehead and hooker, with Marty Moore retaining his place at tighthead prop. Alan O’Connor returns to pair up with captain Iain Henderson in the second row. Marcus Rea comes in at blindside flanker, with Nick Timoney and Duane Vermeulen retained at openside and Number Eight respectively.

Brad Roberts, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell and Jordi Murphy provide the forward reinforcements on the bench. Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall and Rob Lyttle will offer the back line options.

Ulster team to play Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 First Leg, Saturday 9 April at Le Stadium, 3.15pm kick-off (UK / IRE time), live on BT Sport, beIN Sports, FR2:

(15-9) Mike Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ben Moxham, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Jordi Murphy, Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall, Rob Lyttle.

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