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'I think as a 10 that's your responsibility' - Munster's match winner Keatley

The 27-year-old held his nerve to clinch the victory for Munster with a last-gasp drop goal.

Keatley celebrates his late, late drop goal.
Keatley celebrates his late, late drop goal.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IN THE END, it came down to the last act of the game.

Ian Keatley delivered.

While the Munster out-half was swift to push the credit onto his teammates, it was his drop-goal that was the difference between Anthony Foley’s side winning and losing.

From 30 metres out and with time up, the 27-year-old held his nerve impressively to slot his effort. That Sale had managed to interfere with Keatley’s first made the recovery all the more impressive.

“It was nervy,” Keatley admitted to Sky Sports after the final whistle.

On my first attempt, Chris Cusiter chased me so I had to pass it on, but luckily the lads got me into a great position. Thankfully, it went over. It was up to the lads, they got us into that position, so all credit goes to them really.”

Asked who had made the call for the drop-goal, Keatley pointed out that doing so was always the out-half’s duty.

“Yeah, I think as a 10 that is your responsibility,” said Keatley. “I think when we were in our own half, JJ [Hanrahan] took the responsibility in kicking into that corner. We got the field position and then the forwards did the rest, got us into that position.

Ian Keatley celebrates kicking the winning drop goal with Andrew Conway, Simon Zebo, JJ Hanrahan and Felix Jones Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I think it’s the number 10′s and number nine’s responsibility to take that on our shoulders. Thankfully, I did all the practice and it went over.”

Keatley stated that Munster’s second-half comeback, from 23-7 down to a winning scoreline of 27-26, was partly down to the province’s travelling support.

I think you just look around and see all the fans that have travelled over here. It’s unbelievable. We play for ourselves, we play for our family, but we play for the fans too,” said Keatley.

“When you see them coming out in these numbers, it means so much. You just want to give something back to them.”

Watch Ian Keatley channel ROG’s spirit to nail the winning drop goal for Munster against Sale

Keatley keeps his cool to give Munster dramatic win away to Sale

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Murray Kinsella

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