Dublin: 19°C Saturday 24 July 2021


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Hello and welcome along to The42′s live coverage of today’s Heineken Champions Cup clash between Munster and Castres Olympique at Thomond Park.

We’ll have the team line-ups for you in the next few minutes along with some pre-match reading to bring you up to speed before the 1pm kick-off.

As always, we want you to get involved in the coverage. If you have any observations on the game that you’d like to share, send a tweet to @Shin_Farrell or post your thoughts in the comment section below.

Do stay with us and enjoy the game!

Here’s how Munster have been named to line-out:

15. Mike Haley
14. Andrew Conway
13. Chris Farrell
12. Rory Scannell
11. Keith Earls
10. Joey Carbery
9. Conor Murray 

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Tadhg Beirne
5. Billy Holland
6. Peter O’Mahony (Captain)
7. Chris Cloete
8. CJ Stander


16. Kevin O’Byrne
17. Jeremy Loughman
18. Ciaran Parker
19. Fineen Wycherly
20. Arno Botha
21. Alby Mathewson
22. JJ Hanrahan
23. Sam Arnold

And here’s the Castres starting XV:

15. Scott Spedding
14. Armand Batlle
13. Thomas Combezou
12. Florian Vialelle
11. Taylor Paris
10. Benjamin Urdapilleta
9. Ludovic Radosavljevic

1. Antoine Tichit
2. Jody Jenneker
3. Daniel Kotze
4. Loic Jacquet
5. Thibault Lassalle
6. Mathieu Babillot (captain)
7. Kevin Gimeno
8. Alex Tulou


16. Kevin Firmin
17. Paea Fa’anunu
18. Marc Clerc
19. Christophe Samson
20. Yannick Caballero
21. Julien Caminati
22. Martin Laveau
23. Rory Kockott

Thomond Park is looking well today! Let us know if you’re heading along to the game.

A view of Thomond Park Thomond Park. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Munster will be making a change before kick-off as Joey Carbery is ruled out with a hamstring injury.

The42′s Sean Farrell has written a preview ahead of today’s game, here’s a snippet of the piece:

Perhaps the most exciting return, however, has been Chris Farrell. The Ulster native has reportedly been lighting up the GPS metrics for speed and power along his long road to recovery from a ruptured ACL. His barnstorming performance in Cork last Friday backed up the rumour. The 25-year-old’s power and distribution could prove key in giving Munster early breakthroughs to stop them chasing the ‘fool’s gold’ Van Graan warns of.

“He trained so well and we re-integrated him to training and as we came back from the Cheetahs game he just seemed pure class on the field,” says Van Graan.

Read the full article here.

The Castres team forming a team huddle: 

The Castres team huddle ahead of the game Castres players. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Weather is not great in Thomond ahead of kick-off. Here’s the view from the media section.

IMG-20181209-WA0000 Thomond Park. Source: Sean Farrell

More bad news for Munster as Chris Farrell is now also unable to play!

We’re just under five minutes away from kick-off. How do you see this one going?

The teams are coming onto the pitch now. Vote for who you think will win here:

Poll Results:

Munster (621)
Castres (21)
Draw (9)

1 min: Munster 0 Castres 0

And we’re off!


2 min: Munster 0 Castres 0

Great kick from Mike Haley to find touch for Munster and cut through the Castres territory.


5 mins: Munster 0 Castres 0

Munster have their first scrum of the game inside the Castres half of the pitch and Murray and Stander link up well to get Munster to the 22


8 mins: Munster 3 Castres 0

Munster are awarded a penalty and JJ Hanrahan comfortably splits the posts to get the scoreboard moving. 


11 mins: Munster 3 Castres 0

Throw from Niall Scannell goes right over the lineout but Munster secure possession and start working through the phases.

There appears to a forward pass but the Castres line is deemed to be offside and the home side elect to kick for the corner.

The crowd are loving Munster’s early dominance



14 mins: Munster 3 Castres 0

Great work from Munster to execute a turnover which results in a penalty for them. It started with their application in a Castres scrum and they exerted huge pressure to win possession back.


17 mins: Munster 3 Castres 0

Andrew Conway breaks through the line and sets Munster up for a try. They recycle the ball out to Tadhg Beirne who doesn’t see the ball coming and fumbles it forward.

Scrum to Castres but encouraging signs from Munster.


19 mins: Munster 3 Castres 0

Another scoring opportunity scuppered by Munster. They’re so close to completing the move but just can’t get that final ball to hand.

Tadhg Beirne drops the ball again and they now have to reset for the Castres scrum.


20 mins: Munster 3 Castres 0

More brilliant pressure from Munster in the scrum and they’re rewarded with a penalty. It looks like Hanrahan will take the points that are on offer.


21 mins: Munster 6 Castres 0

And he duly obliges to double Munster’s advantage after 21 minutes.


24 mins: Munster 6 Castres 0

Scott Spedding knocks the ball forward in the greasy conditions after that spill of rain before the game and Munster. The travelling side haven’t really enjoyed much possession so far but they’re only six points adrift and are hanging on.

Meanwhile, Munster are given another penalty and there’s a bit of afters between the players but the referee easily sorts it out.


29 mins: Munster 6 Castres 0

Risky pass that almost resulted in an interception for Castres. They survive that moment of danger but cough up possession with a forward pass.

Some sloppy errors creeping into their play, which is holding them back from building on their advantage on the scoreboard.


32 mins: Munster 6 Castres 0

The game is still yet to ignite as we go past the half-hour mark. Munster are the better side but Castres have won a few crucial turnovers to keep themselves in touch of the home side.

But Murray comes up with a vital play to earn a scrum for Munster, although the video replay would suggest that his tackle on Ludovic Radosavljevic was slightly high.

34 mins: Munster 6 Castres 0

Again, Niall Scannell’s lineout throw goes over the top and Castres win the ball back.

Radosavljevic tries a box-kick and it slips through Keith Earls grasp initially before he pounces on the rebound to get his side moving again.


38 mins: Munster 6 Castres 0

Hanrahan comes thundering forward to catch a Radosavljevic box kick. He attempts to find the corner with a kick but the ball trickles out of bounds and Munster must reset again.

Moments later, Murray thought he was about to break through but he fumbles the ball.

The conditions aren’t great but Munster will be frustrated with the errors they’re committing. 


42 mins: Munster 6 Castres 0

Penalty to Munster after some good forward play. The passes were crisp and gave a glimpse of what Munster can do when they play with more cohesion.

Munster 6 Castres 0

Well there’s not much good to say about that 40 minutes of rugby. Poor play and error-strewn. 

Munster looked like they were on course to dominate proceedings in the initial stages but they’ve only managed to post six points from Hanrahan penalties so far.

Castres will feel they’re in a good position at the break despite not enjoying much of the possession.

Some images from the first half.

Keith Earls competes for a high ball with Scott Spedding Keith Earls. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Rory Scannell tackled by Florian Vialelle and Ludovic Radosavljevic Rory Scannell tackled by Florian Vialelle and Ludovic Radosavljevic of Castres. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

John Ryan clashes with Jody Jennifer Munster and Castres players. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Sam Arnold tackled by Taylor Paris Sam Arnold. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO


40 mins: Munster 6 Castres 0

The second half is now underway!


46 mins: Munster 13 Castres 0

That’s the ideal start for Munster in the second half. Rory Scannell gets over the line for that try that they have been hunting for throughout this game.

JJ Hanrahan stands over the conversion and adds the extras.

Brilliant work and Tadhg Beirne wins a penalty shortly after after some impressive defensive play.


49 mins: Munster 13 Castres 0

Castres edge out the battle in the scrum and win a penalty. This is a great opportunity for them to put some points on the board.


50 mins: Munster 13 Castres 0

Benjamin Urdapilleta misses the penalty but we’re going to the TMO for a possible knock-on from Conor Murray after he caught the ball behind the posts.


53 mins: Munster 13 Castres 0

Replays confirm that Murray did knock the ball on but Castres fail to profit from the resultant scrum and Peter O’Mahony does brilliantly to win the ball back and Munster clear the danger.

Still no points on the board for Castres and Chris Cloete follows that up with another turnover.

Munster starting to find their rhythm now!


57 mins: Munster 13 Castres 0

Scrappy play. Munster lose the ball, then Castres cough up possession and the ball comes to Mike Haley before a ruck forms and a penalty is awarded to Munster.

Some of those handling errors coming back into the game in the second half.

JJ Hanrahan will kick for the posts.


58 mins: Munster 16 Castres 0

And Hanrahan sweeps the ball through the posts to stretch Munster’s advantage again.


61 mins: Munster 16 Castres 0

Castres make a change as we head past the the hour-mark. Martin Laveau replaces Armand Batlle.

Munster players celebrate that Rory Scannell try:

Rory Scannell celebrates scoring his sides first try with Andrew Conway, JJ Hanrahan, Niall Scannell and Billy Holland Rory Scannell celebrates his try. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Flag 71Mins

70 mins: Munster 23 Castres 0

Hanrahan scores the conversion and Munster are motoring well now.

Murray was instrumental in that CJ Stander try as was Arnold. They’re ramping up the pressure now with 10 minutes to go.


72 mins: Munster 23 Castres 0

Jeremy Loughman is on for the last eight minutes for Munster as Dave Kilcoyne makes way.

Flag 78Mins

78 mins: Munster 30 Castres 0

Hanrahan converts his own try and now the burning question is can Munster get the bonus-point as the clock heads towards 80 minutes.

The try was a lovely sweeping move with some smooth passing, which ended with Hanrahan crossing over the whitewash.


79 mins: Munster 30 Castres 0

Yellow card for Andrew Conway but there were worries that perhaps a penalty try was on the cards for Castres.

The referee hasn’t awarded it though after consulting the TMO.

We’re heading into the final minute and the ball is way down in Munster territory. Can they get back up the pitch in time to get another score?


81 mins: Munster 30 Castres 5

Martin Laveau crosses over to ensure his side will have some points on the board at the end of this game and the conversion is missed.

That was a tough game for everyone to watch.

Some flashes of brilliance from Munster but a lot of very sloppy play. We have to acknowledge that the conditions weren’t great after the rain but Munster won’t be happy with that performance overall.

There were also enforced changes ahead of the game with Joey Carbery and Chris Farrell both ruled out with injury. JJ Hanrahan came in for Carbery and scooped the man-of-the-match award after a solid afternoon for him.

Rory Scannell’s try just after the restart suggested that Munster were going to turn on the style and power to victory in style. And while they did add further tries from CJ Stander and JJ Hanrahan, the game never really caught fire.

Castres were hanging on for much of the game and a late try from Martin Laveau was little more than a consolation.

Here’s that CJ Stander try. Please appreciate the pass from Murray to send him through.

Here’s that beautiful Murray offload in still-form.

It was one of the few moments to savour from that otherwise forgettable game.

Conor Murray on the attack Conor Murray. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

A few other images from that second half

JJ Hanrahan celebrates scoring his sides third try JJ Hanrahan celebrates a try for Munster. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

 Players congratulate CJ Stander after his try

CJ Stander celebrates scoring his sides second try with JJ Hanrahan and Mike Haley CJ Stander. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Total focus from JJ Hanrahan

JJ Hanrahan kicks a penalty Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Rory Scannell after Munster’s first try 

Rory Scannell celebrates scoring his sides first try Rory Scannell. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Munster Powering forward!

Kevin O’Byrne and Dave Kilcoyne on the attack Munster's Kevin O’Byrne and Dave Kilcoyne. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Well that’s all from us. Thanks for dropping in to take in the coverage of this game.

We hope to have you with us again soon.

Before you go, have a read of Sean Farrell’s match report from Thomond Park.

Bye for now!

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Andy Dunne preview a big weekend of Heineken Cup action and dissect the week’s main talking points.

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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