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Champions Cup

Munster Scrape Past Benetton to Reach Pro 14 Semis

Munster just about got over the line against Benetton to reach the last four of the Pro 14

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(Photo By Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster survived a scare from Benetton to reach the semi-finals of the Pro 14 as they defeated the Italians 15-13 at Thomond Park on Saturday afternoon.

The win means Munster will now face a trip to rivals Leinster in the semi-finals with a place the showpiece up for grabs.

Munster dominated the majority of the match and started brightly. However, malfunctioning line-outs, knock-ons and just simple unforced errors meant they could not make the most of their early chances.

It took until the 23rd minute for them to register their first points when Tyler Bleyendaal converted a penalty, having turned down the three-point opportunity earlier in the game.

That score kicked Benetton into action as they went up the other end of the pitch straight after the kick-off and went through the phases. Munster captain Peter O’Mahony conceded a penalty at the breakdown and Tomasso Allan made no mistake with his kick to tie things up at 3-3.

Munster’s lack of attacking efficiency was punished by the visitors a minute before time when Bleyendaal sent a kicked towards touch but Monty Ioane’s quick line-out allowed full-back Jayden Hayward to run at the defence.

Following a couple of phases Marco Zanon sent Ratuva Tavunyara over in the corner for a try. Allan converted and that sent Benetton in with a 10-3 half-time lead.

Munster again started well in the second-half, with Bleyendaal knocking over a penalty early on to make it 10-6.

Benetton almost sprung another surprise on 48 minutes only for Braam Steyn to knock-on an offload that would have sent them over for a second try.

With 20 minutes remaining Benetton pushed themselves further ahead as JJ Hanrahan was caught offside. Again, Allan was perfect from the tee to make it 13-6 and an upset looked on the cards.

Hanrahan made up for his error two minutes later when he kicked a penalty to cut the lead to four.

Hanrahan made up for his error two minutes later when he kicked a penalty to cut the lead to four.

Benetton defended well right up until the 77th minute when they conceded a penalty on half-way which Hanrahan kept his nerve to kick straight through the uprights.

Benetton pushed late on and missed a couple of drop-kicks before the full-time whistle was blown and Munster’s blushes were saved.

Munster will now head to the RDS in two weeks’ time to face Leinster and will need a much-improved performance if they are to topple the reigning champions. Although Benetton couldn’t go any further, they are still the first Italian side to reach the play-off phase of the competition and have Champions Cup rugby to look forward to next season.


Champions Cup

All You Need To Know | Toulouse v Munster

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Munster face Toulouse at Stade Ernest-Wallon for just the second time at the weekend in the fourth and final Pool game of this year’s Champions Cup.

Both sides will be named before 12pm on Friday.

It will be a huge weekend of Champions Cup rugby, see the state of play in the competition here with all 12 teams in Munster’s Pool in with a shout of qualifying for the knock-out stages.

Find out all you need to know ahead of the game below.

Where?

Stade Ernest-Wallon

When?

Sunday, 3.15pm Irish time/4.15pm local

Broadcast

Live on BT Sport, France TV, beIN Sports, SuperSport & FloRugby.

Munster News

Squad Update

Academy Update

This Week At Munster Rugby

Did you know?

The sides have met nine times previously in the competition with Munster and Toulouse winning four times apiece. There was one draw in last year’s quarter-final with Toulouse winning the place-kicking competition to progress.

Gavin Coombes has scored four tries in three Champions Cup matches and is the joint leading try-scorer in the competition.

Munster have played at the Stade Ernest-Wallon twice previously. The first game was a 60-19 defeat to Toulouse in November 1996 and the second was a 27-24 victory over Castres Olympique in November 2011. Coincidentally, Munster’s win over Castres came a week after a win over Northampton at Thomond Park. Both victories were secured with last-minute Ronan O’Gara drop-goals.

Previous Meetings

November 1996

Champions Cup Pool Stage: Toulouse 60-19 Munster, Stade Ernest-Wallon;

May 2000

Champions Cup Semi-Final: Toulouse 25-31 Munster, Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux;

April 2003

Champions Cup Semi-Final: Toulouse 13-12 Munster, Stade Toulouse;

May 2008

Champions Cup Final: Munster 16-13 Toulouse, Millennium Stadium;

April 2014

Champions Cup Quarter-Final: Munster 47-23 Toulouse, Thomond Park;

April 2017

Champions Cup Quarter-Final: Munster 41-16 Toulouse, Thomond Park;

April 2021

Champions Cup Round of 16: Munster 33-40 Toulouse, Thomond Park (behind closed doors);

May 2022

Champions Cup Quarter-Final: Munster 24-24 Toulouse (Toulouse win place-kicking competition), Aviva Stadium;

December 2022

Champions Cup Pool Stage: Munster 13-18 Toulouse, Thomond Park;

Match Officials

Referee: Karl Dickson

AR1: Dan Jones

AR2: Phil Watters

TMO: Rowan Kitt

Tickets

URC Round 14

Friday, February 17, 2023

Munster Rugby v Ospreys, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 15

Friday, March 3, 2023

Munster Rugby v Scarlets, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Munster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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Champions Cup

Disciplinary decisions

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Cobus Wiese suspended for two weeks

The Sale Sharks second row, Cobus Wiese, has been suspended for two weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 3 match against Stade Toulousain at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Wiese was sent off by the referee, Mike Adamson (Scotland), in the 18th minute of the match for a dangerous clear out on the Stade Toulousain prop, Dorian Aldegheri, in contravention of Law 9.20.

Law 9.20 Dangerous play in a ruck or maul
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.20 relating to dangerous play in a ruck or maul carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks

An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Rhian Williams (Wales), Chair, Mike Ross (Ireland) and Lawrence Sephaka (South Africa) considered video imagery of the incident and heard submissions from Wiese, who accepted the red card decision, from the Sale Sharks Director of Rugby, Alex Sanderson, from the Sale Sharks Team Manager, Scott Needham, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

Following submissions, the committee upheld the red card decision, but decided that the incident should be considered as being in contravention of Law 9.20 (b) which refers to dangerous play at a ruck or maul when a player makes contact with an opponent above the line of the shoulders.

Law 9.20 (b) A player must not make contact with an opponent above the line of the shoulders
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.20 (b) carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 4 weeks; Top end: 8 to 52 weeks

It determined that Wiese entered the ruck dangerously making contact with Aldegheri above the line of the shoulders, that the offending was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions, and four weeks was selected as the appropriate entry point.

Due to the player’s good disciplinary record and his guilty plea, it was decided to grant him the full 50% mitigation and the committee therefore reduced the sanction by two weeks before imposing a two-week suspension.

Wiese is free to play on Monday, 30 January 2023, however, if he applies for and successfully completes a World Rugby Coaching Intervention, he will be free to play on Monday, 23 January 2023.

Both he and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

 

Henry Slade red card dismissed

The Exeter Chiefs centre, Henry Slade, has had the red card which was issued to him during his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 3 match against the Vodacom Bulls, dismissed following an independent Disciplinary Hearing.

Slade was sent off by the replacement referee, Thomas Charabas (France), in the 54th minute of the match at Loftus Versfeld for tackling the Vodacom Bulls full back, Kurt-Lee Arendse, in a dangerous manner in contravention of Law 9.13.

Law 9.13 A player must not tackle an opponent dangerously
Under World Rugby’s Sanctions for Foul Play, Law 9.13 relating to dangerous tackling carries the following sanction entry points – Low End: 2 weeks; Mid-range: 6 weeks; Top end: 10 to 52 weeks

An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Jennifer Donovan (Ireland), Chair, Frank Hadden (Scotland) and Yannick Jauzion (France) considered video imagery of the incident and heard evidence from Slade, who did not accept the red card decision, and heard submissions from the player’s legal representative, Richard Smith KC, from the Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The committee decided that while Slade had committed an act of foul play, it did not warrant a sending off. The red card decision was therefore dismissed and he is free to play.

EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.

 

EPCR CHALLENGE CUP

Geoffrey Lanne-Petit suspended for five weeks and Section Paloise fined €25,000 (suspended)

The Section Paloise Attack Coach, Geoffrey Lanne-Petit, has been suspended for five weeks and Section Paloise have been handed a suspended €25,000 fine following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from the club’s EPCR Challenge Cup, Round 1 match against the Toyota Cheetahs at Stade du Hameau.

EPCR brought a misconduct complaint against Lanne-Petit, who was alleged to have committed an act of misconduct in contravention of EPCR’s Disciplinary Rules by verbally abusing the Assistant Referee, Hollie Davidson (Scotland), following the conclusion of the match.

Also, EPCR brought a second misconduct complaint against Section Paloise who were alleged to have failed to control staff members, and/or persons connected to the club, following the conclusion of the match.

An independent Disciplinary Committee comprising Gareth Graham (England), Chair, David Humphreys (Ireland) and Donal Courtney (Ireland) heard evidence and submissions from Lanne-Petit, who accepted the misconduct charge, from the

Section Paloise President, Bernard Pontneau, from the Section Paloise legal representative, Benjamin Peyrelevade, from the Section Paloise Chief Executive, Pierre Lahore and from the Section Paloise Legal Manager, Marie Anglade.

The committee also heard evidence and submissions from the match Assistant Referee, Hollie Davidson, and from the EPCR Disciplinary Officer, Liam McTiernan.

The committee found that Lanne-Petit had committed an act of misconduct in that he verbally abused Hollie Davidson following the match and it was decided to suspend him for five weeks.

Lanne-Petit is therefore suspended from any match day contact with the Section Paloise playing squad, including, but not limited to, access to the Technical Zone, pitchside, dressing rooms, any team areas and team communications systems until midnight on Sunday, 26 February.

In addition, the committee found that Section Paloise were guilty of failing to control members of their coaching staff and persons connected to the club who disrespected the authority of the match officials following the conclusion of the match.

Section Paloise were fined €25,000 with the amount suspended until the end of the 2023/24 season which would only become payable if Section Paloise are found to have committed a further breach of EPCR’s Disciplinary Rules during that period.

Lanne-Petit, Section Paloise and EPCR have the right to appeal the decisions

Content & Images from – EPC Rugby


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Champions Cup

Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Toulouse Trip

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The Munster squad have started preparations ahead of Sunday’s Champions Cup clash against Toulouse at a sold-out Stade Ernest-Wallon (3.15pm Irish time, live on BT Sport).

Due to the weather conditions, training has been moved to the main pitch at Thomond Park for this week.

Along with the squad members who were in Champions Cup action against Northampton on Saturday, there were 12 Munster players playing in the AIL for their clubs at the weekend.

Liam O’Connor helped Cork Constitution to a 32-27 victory over Dublin University.

Neil Cronin, Oli Morris, Tony Butler and Mark Donnelly featured for Garryowen in their 19-13 defeat to Clontarf with Morris scoring a try and Butler kicking a penalty.

Darragh McSweeney and Kieran Ryan were in action for Shannon as they were beaten 34-24 by Lansdowne.

Dan Goggin, Eoin O’Connor, Chris Moore, Patrick Campbell and Conor Phillips lined out for Young Munster as they fell to a 21-11 loss to Terenure College.

On the injury front, there is good news for Diarmuid Barron (shoulder) as he has returned to full team training.

Roman Salanoa was removed with an arm injury during the win over Northampton and will be managed by the medical department. His availability for Toulouse will be determined later in the week.

Jack Crowley is being managed following an ankle injury sustained against Northampton and his availability will also be determined later in the week.

Simon Zebo suffered a low-grade knee injury in training last week and is not available this week as he rehabilitates with the medical department. His injury is not expected to be long term.

Continuing to rehab: Jeremy Loughman (thigh), Tom Ahern (shoulder), RG Snyman (knee), Fineen Wycherley (shoulder), Paddy Kelly (head), Jack Daly (knee), Andrew Conway (knee), Keynan Knox (knee), Kiran McDonald (arm).

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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