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Dublin: 3°C Saturday 26 September 2020


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Good evening, folks. Thanks for joining us for our liveblog of Munster’s final Pool 1 game of this European Champions Cup campaign. Kick-off at Thomond Park between Rassie Erasmus’ side and Racing 92 is at 5.30pm and we’ll keep you updated throughout the game.

If you want to let us know your views, tweet us (@rugby_ie and @The42_ie), send an e-mail ( or leave a comment below.

While we’re waiting for kick-off, click here and sink your teeth into Murray Kinsella’s preview of the game.

Here are the line-ups…


15. Simon Zebo
14. Andrew Conway
13. Jaco Taute
12. Rory Scannell
11. Ronan O’Mahony
10. Tyler Bleyendaal
9. Conor Murray

1. James Cronin
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Donnacha Ryan
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Tommy O’Donnell
8. CJ Stander


16. Rhys Marshall
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. Thomas du Toit
19. Billy Holland
20. Jack O’Donoghue
21. Duncan Williams
22. Ian Keatley
23. Francis Saili

Racing 92:

15. Brice Dulin
14. Teddy Thomas
13. Henry Chavancy
12. Etienne Dussartre
11. Marc Andreu
10. Benjamin Dambielle
9. Maxime Machenaud (captain)

1. Eddy Ben Arous
2. Camille Chat
3. Ben Tameifuna
4. Manuel Carizza
5. Leone Nakarawa
6. Yannick Nyanga
7. Matthieu Voisin
8. So’otala Fa’aso’o


16. Virgile Lacombe
17. Julien Brugnaut
18. Cedate Gomes Sa
19. Ali Williams
20. Chris Masoe
21. James Hart
22. Franck Pourteau
23. Albert Vulivuli

Referee: Marius Mitrea [FIR].

It’s a 26,200 sell-out again in Limerick as Munster aim to secure a home quarter-final. A win will do the trick, and they might end up facing Connacht at Thomond in the last eight with the way things are shaping up, but there’s a lot of rugby to be played before we get to those conclusions.

They’re belting out ‘Stand Up and Fight’ at Thomond Park. Incredible atmosphere.

Racing 92 place flowers on the pitch at Thomond Park as a mark of respect for the late Anthony Foley. Nice touch.


It’s underway in Limerick.


Munster turning the screw early on but Racing get a penalty inside their own 22 for a high tackle by Andrew Conway.


Jean Kleyn penalised but Racing go for the corner instead of the posts. However, there’s a knock-on from the line-out. Scrum to Munster.


Strong scrum from Racing and Munster are penalised. Racing call for another scrum.


Machenaud’s pass is dropped by Thomas inside Munster’s 22 and it’s a scrum to the home side.


“It looks as if Racing have come to perform,” says Stuart Barnes on Sky Sports 2.


Murray digs it out and Scannell clears with the boot but Racing attack again.


Murray gets it away with a box kick but Racing are relentless at the moment. They look a different side to the one we saw in Paris. High intensity so far.


Machenaud’s kick over the top is chased by Thomas but Murray gets there. It comes back for a penalty to Racing. Munster penalised for entry at the side.


Machenaud’s penalty was on target but it didn’t have the legs, falling just short. Still scoreless.


Munster have introduced Dave Kilcoyne for James Cronin at loosehead.


Munster haven’t been able to make an impact on this game yet. No score so far but Racing in control.


Munster working hard in defence and they get a break as Racing are penalised at the breakdown. Bleyendaal clears to touch.


Murray puts Machenaud under pressure at the scrum, Munster turn it over and they’re finally on the attack.


The ball was lost in the tackle by Nyanga on O’Mahony, Nakarawa snatched it up and Racing breathe a sigh of relief. Four Munster penalties conceded now.


Bleyendaal sends it deep into Racing’s 22 but Dulin does well to take the mark. The game is opening up now.


Scannell sends a Munster penalty into touch on the right and the hosts have an opportunity deep inside the opposing 22.


Munster looking to get the maul moving.


Munster opting for the scrum on Racing’s five-metre line.


Big scrum from Munster, Murray releases to Scannell but Racing hold tight. Bizarre refereeing forces Murray to use the ball when the scrum was going forward, just short of Racing’s line.


Murray to Scannell again and he’s just about held back. Munster still knocking at the door.


Zebo almost over.


Incredible defending from Racing but Murray goes over and it’s heading to the TMO.


No try. It looked like the ball may have been knocked out of Murray’s hands just before he gets it down. The crowd aren’t happy. It was a tricky one. A try for our money, though.


Stander storms away for Munster but is tackled just short of the line. Benjamin Dambielle gets a yellow card for taking Murray out illegally. Racing down to 14 temporarily.


Munster get a turnover and this pressure on Racing near their own line here isn’t easing. Rassie Erasmus will be furious if they don’t come away with a score from this period of pressure.


Munster with a lineout five metres out.


Finally Munster get over for the opening score of the game. Zebo just about crossed the line after a pass from Murray, before Bleyendaal added the extras. Relief for Zebo, who probably should have released it outside just to be sure. Munster lead 7-0.


Andreu got through for Racing and Zebo had to work hard to get back and prevent a try.


Penalty to Racing for hands in the ruck. This will be the last action of the half.

The moment Simon Zebo got in for the only try of the game so far…

Simon Zebo scores the firs try of the game despite Matthieu Voisin and Maxime Machenaud Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Glasgow Warriors leading Leicester Tigers 31-0. Glasgow could be back in Limerick for a quarter-final with the way things are shaping up.


The action has resumed at Thomond Park.


High tackle on Bleyendaal and he’ll go for the posts with the penalty.


Penalty: Munster 10 Racing 92 3 (Bleyendaal, 43)


Positive start to this second half for Munster. Rory Scannell finds touch inside Racing’s 22 and Peter O’Mahony wins the lineout. However, Zebo drops Bleyendaal’s pass and it’s a scrum to the visitors.


Taute releases O’Mahony wide on the left but he’s driven into touch just before he makes the corner. They’re going to the TMO, which isn’t necessary at all.


Francis Saili is on for Jaco Taute.


Munster go wide for their second try and Bleyendaal nails a brilliant conversion to go 17-3 up. Halfway to a bonus point.


Billy Holland replaces Jean Kleyn.


Things getting a bit scrappy now. Zebo penalised for a knock-on.

Munster’s second try, courtesy of Ronan O’Mahony…

Ronan O'Mahony scores their second try Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO


The referee is going to the TMO for a potential Racing try. It could make for an interesting last 20 minutes if they get it.


Chavancy gets over and Machenaud scores the conversion. At 17-10 there’s a converted try between them entering the final quarter.


That try means that, as things stand, Munster will go through as third seeds instead of second. Clermont guaranteed first seeds, Saracens second at the moment.


Munster need a winning bonus-point or a victory by at least 11 points to overtake Saracens as second seeds.

It’s all Racing at the moment, however.


Racing chip to the corner but Zebo does well to take the mark and relieve the pressure.

Ronan O’Mahony so close to getting in for his second try after a piece of Murray magic but Teddy Thomas did well to deny him.


Penalty coming for Munster as they edge towards the Racing line.


Seconds after coming on for Zebo, Ian Keatley gets in for a try after being played in by Conway. Bleyendaal fails with a tough conversion but Munster are in that second seed spot again. 22-10 to Munster.

CJ Stander — surprise, surprise — named man of the match.

CJ Stander with Brice Dulin and Teddy Thomas Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


Munster-bound James Hart is on at scrum-half for Racing 92. Four minutes remain.

About the author:

Paul Dollery