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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019
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Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of Munster and Racing 92′s Champions Cup clash at the U Arena (kick-off 3.15pm, live on Sky Sports).

We’ll have updates throughout, and the teams in full will follow shortly.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. How do you see this one going?

Here’s how the sides will line out, unless there are any late changes:

Munster

15. Simon Zebo
14. Andrew Conway
13. Chris Farrell
12. Rory Scannell
11. Keith Earls
10. Ian Keatley
9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Rhys Marshall
3. Stephen Archer
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Billy Holland
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Chris Cloete
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Kevin O’Byrne
17. James Cronin
18. John Ryan
19. Darren O’Shea
20. Jack O’Donoghue
21. Duncan Williams
22. JJ Hanrahan
23. Alex Wootton

Racing 92

15. Louis Dupichot
14. Teddy Thomas
13. Virimi Vakatawa
12. Henry Chavancy
11. Marc Andreu
10. Remi Tales
9. Maxime Machenaud

1. Eddy Ben Arous
2. Camille Chat
3. Ben Tameifuna
4. Donnacha Ryan
5. Edwin Maka
6. Yannick Nyanga
7. Wenceslas Lauret
8. Leone Nakarawa

Replacements:

16. Dimitri Szarzewski
17. Vasil Kakovin
18. Cedate Gomes Sa
19. Baptiste Chouzenoux
20. Boris Palu
21. Xavier Chauveau
22. Benjamin Dambielle
23. Joe Rokocoko

Johann van Graan’s men face a tough test in Paris’ new stadium. A win would secure their place in the Champions Cup knockout stages and make it a clean sweep for the Irish provinces in Europe’s elite competition this weekend.

Johann van Graan Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Our reporter Murray Kinsella is there to witness it in the flesh, and here’s his pre-match preview to get the excitement building:

Munster are top of the group, Racing are four points behind in second. This should be interesting. The pre-match entertainment is quite interesting too!

The teams are out, we’re almost ready to go. Call it!

KICK-OFF: 1 – Racing 0-0 Munster: The visitors get us underway as Keatley sends his kick long and high.

2 – Racing 0-0 Munster: Referee Matthew Carley’s first call of the match is a penalty to the home side. They’ve started brighter in the early exchanges, racing up the field. Nakarawa is looking good as they near the line.

3 – Racing 5-0 Munster: TRY for Racing. The dream start. Nice handling, impressive speed and finished by Nyanga.

5 - Racing 7-0 Munster: There’s a knock-on as Munster are awarded a scrum as they hope to settle into this clash. A blistering start from Racing, it must be said. CJ Stander is involved in the first of Munster’s proper carries.

7- Racing 7-0 Munster: The southern province have conceded four penalties already. Van Graan’s side need to tighten up on their discipline as Racing have an early foothold.

8 - Racing 10-0 Munster: It’s 10-0 Racing as Machenuad splits the posts with the penalty awarded for a high tackle.

10 - Racing 10-0 Munster: The Sky Sports commentators are speaking about Munster’s unfamiliarity with the surface playing an early factor. They’re struggling to settle with the bounce of the ball, but are starting to come into the game and get on the ball more.

12 - Racing 10-0 Munster: Munster are struggling to get going here. Zebo’s kick is blocked down and Racing remain on the front foot. Murray is questioning the referee on the speed that Racing are releasing.

 

15 - Racing 10-0 Munster: A bit of life from van Graan’s men as their maul defence looks better and better. They win a penalty and Keatley powers the ball up the field.

 

17 – Racing 10-0 Munster: Chris Cloete steps up to the mark, forcing a turnover ferociously as Munster try desperately to prevent Racing from progressing further. The home side have set the tempo but Munster are coming to the fore now.

19 – Racing 10-0 Munster: Nice carries from Chris Farrell and CJ Stander have Munster in a promising position as the visitors win a line-out.

21  – Racing 10-5 Munster:  TRY for Munster. Jean Kleyn just about crosses to bring a close to Munster’s first really promising attack of the game.

22 – Racing 10-7 Munster: Keatley converts. Game on.

24 – Racing 10-7 Munster: Great kick in behind the Racing D from Keatley as Munster look to take full advantage of this spell. Soon after, Earls runs at the French side as Murray is lifted into touch.

27 – Racing 10-7 Munster: Munster’s kicking game is bringing them more success. Racing are penalised for an obstruction and Keatley has a chance to kick at the posts. He’s unsuccessful though. It comes off the post and Racing counter.

29 – Racing 10-7 Munster: Munster concede a penalty to stem the counter attack and regain possession soon after. They’re building nicely after some handling magic from Zebo.

33 - Racing 10-7 Munster: This game is ebbing and flowing, both sides having their spells, possession being switched over and back quite a lot.

35 – Racing 10-7 Munster: Super take by Zebo while he’s tackled in the air. Penalty on the half-way and Keatley is going for the posts.

36 – Racing 10-7 Munster: He hits the post again! Same one, just a bit higher up. Small margins…..

38 - Racing 10-7 Munster: Racing clear their lines while Munster power onwards looking for a score before the interval. They look to be in through a Murray kick but it bounces in the home side’s favour.

39 – Racing 13-7 Munster: Not a good final minute for Minster. POM is penalised for verbals and Machenaud adds three with the kick before the break to extend their lead.

So… half-time thoughts?

Munster had a dreadful start but grew into the half as it progressed. Van Graan’s side missed two opportunities to pull the game level but the hosts pushed on with Machenaud’s late penalty.

How do you see it panning out?

Eight penalties conceded by Munster, four by Racing.

“By and large, we think our plan is working,” says Jerry Flannery.

Big 40 minutes ahead, we’re almost ready to go.

SECOND HALF: 41 – Racing 13-7 Munster: The hosts get us underway in their new Parisian stadium. Let’s go.

Some half-time thoughts from Gerry Thornley as we get going again:

42 – Racing 18-7 Munster: TRY for Racing. They’ve done it again and started really strongly.

43 – Racing 18-7 Munster: It was Marc Andreu with a nice finish, but they fail to add the extras.

45 – Racing 18-12 Munster: TRY for Munster. Keith Earls. Wow. What an answer.

49 – Racing 18-14 Munster: An incredible response from Munster as they close the gap. Racing are battling back though and have added some fresh legs to their troops.

51 – Racing 18-21 Munster: TRY for Munster all coming from a brilliant turnover by POM. Farrell crossed to hand Munster the lead, while Keatley nails the conversion.

54 - Racing 21-21 Munster: LEVEL. Max Machenaud converts his penalty cooly. What a second half so far, it’s hard to keep up.

57 - Racing 21-24 Munster: Munster take the lead once again through a Keatley penalty after Racing are penalised for going off feat. No worries with the posts this time!

59 - Racing 21-24 Munster: The momentum is with Munster here as the noise levels rise around the ground. There’s a switch up and Racing are in possession though and looking dangerous.

61 – Racing 21-24 Munster: There’s a let-off for the Irish side as Racing are pinged for crossing. Keatley kicks to touch. There’s a bit of a scuffle after a refereeing decision but we’re back at it.

63 - Racing 21-27 Munster: Keatley nails another penalty to huge Munster cheers as they lead by six. The ref had a word with the Racing captain beforehand. O’Donoghue has done well since he came in.

64 - Racing 26-27 Munster: TRY for Racing. Cheeky score from replacement hooker Szarzewki off the back of a strong lineout. One in it.

66 - Racing 28-27 Munster: The home side power into the lead with a successful conversion from the boot of Machenaud.

72 - Racing 28-27 Munster: Racing have the ball inside their own half. Good pressure from Munster though as they turn them over on their 10m line. Tight call as there’s a knock on by Racing. Srum to Munster around the half-way.

75 - Racing 31-30 Munster: Incredible response from Racing, they win a penalty from the restart. The crowd erupts. Machenaud fires it over.

77 - Racing 34-30 Munster: The hosts win another penalty right under the posts and Machenaud opts to extend the lead. Four in it.

78 - Racing 34-30 Munster: Hanrahan on for Keatley, is there time for him to do anything?

79 - Racing 34-30 Munster: Munster lose the ball and Racing have a scrum.

FULL-TIME: Racing 34-30 Munster: The clock goes red, the whistle sounds and that’s that.

Dimitri Szarzewski scores a try Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

And so, Racing win their first Champions Cup game at their new venue but Munster stay top of Pool 4. Van Graan’s side return to home soil with a losing bonus point and can still seal a quarter-final position with a win over Castres next week.

That’s all from me but Murray Kinsella’s match report from Paris will be on The42 shortly, along with plenty of analysis and reaction.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy you evening.

About the author:

Emma Duffy

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