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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 14 April 2021
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Good evening and welcome along to The42′s live coverage of Munster Heineken Champions Cup clash with reigning holders Saracens.

For a game like this, is there any place you’d rather be than Thomond Park?

The hosts have even installed additional seating in advance of this highly-anticipated clash. That move will increase the capacity from 25,600 to 26,267.

We’ll have team line-ups and any late changes for you in the next few minutes as we gear up for the 5.30pm kick-off.

Here’s how Munster are named to line out:

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

1. James Cronin
2. Niall Scannell
3. Stephen Archer
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Billy Holland
6. Tadhg Beirne
7. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Kevin O’Byrne
17. Liam O’Connor
18. John Ryan
19. Fineen Wycherley
20. Jack O’Donoghue
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Sammy Arnold
23. Arno Botha

And here is the Saracens starting team

15. Matt Gallagher
14. Rotimi Segun
13. Alex Lozowski
12. Brad Barritt (captain)
11. Alex Lewington
10. Manu Vunipola
9. Ben Spencer

1. Richard Barrington
2. Jack Singleton
3. Titi Lamositele
4. Will Skelton
5. Maro Itoje
6. Nick Isiekwe
7. Ben Earl
8. Jackson Wray

Replacements:

16. Kapeli Pifeleti
17. Rhys Carre
18. Josh Ibuanokpe
19. Joel Kpoku
20. Sean Reffell
21. Tom Whiteley
22. Max Malins
23. Nick Tompkins

Some light reading from The42′s Murray Kinsella about Munster’s Rory Scannell here.

How do you see this one going? Vote here and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below:


Poll Results:

Munster win (663)
Saracens win (73)
Draw (21)



Fans gearing up for the game in Thomond

munster-fans-ahead-of-the-game Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

cormac-elodie-and-finn Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

munster-fans-from-cape-town Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

jade-eager-and-emily-oregan Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

john-and-jackie-keenan Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

We’re just a few minutes away from kick-off now.

2Mins

Munster 0-0 Saracens 

Munster are first up to put in for the line-out as they try to spread the ball out wide quickly and get the home crowd going. 

4Mins

Munster 0-0 Saracens 

Saracens go on the attack as Alex Lozowski tries to slip the ball through the Munster cover. But the hosts avert the danger and Conor Murray fires the ball clear and finds touch.

5Mins

Munster 0-0 Saracens 

Munster earn a penalty for an offside offence by Alex Lewington.

They opt to go for the corner and Niall Scannell will put the ball in from the line-out.

8Mins

Munster 0-0 Saracens 

Matt Gallagher gets a good fetch with his back to the ball. Andrew Conway then tries to barrel his way through to make a line break, but he’s held up.

But Munster come again as Rory Scannell feeds the ball out wide to Conway and Saracens are under pressure here. 

9Mins

Munster 0-0 Saracens 

They get as far as the five-metre line but they commit a knock-on while trying to seek out a gap to the tryline. 

Great work from Keith Earls and Conway to initiate that move. 

12Mins

Munster 0-0 Saracens

Saracens win a penalty from the scrum and find touch. But Munster reclaim possession from the line-out.

They’re eager to make up for not profiting from that earlier attack.

13Mins

Munster 0-0 Saracens

Great tackle from Earls on Gallagher sees Munster win a penalty in a really scoreable position.

But it looks like Munster are going for the corner, and a try.

15Mins

Munster 0-0 Saracens

The hosts thought they were over the line but referee Romain Poite thinks differently and Munster will put in for the scrum.

17Mins

Munster 0-0 Saracens

Another Munster penalty is awarded and it looks like JJ Hanrahan will kick for the posts and get their scoreboard moving.

It should be an easy tap-over.

21Mins

Munster 3-0 Saracens 

CLOSE!

Munster almost got caught there. Richard Barrington pulls a lovely little show and go to gain some yards for Saracens and get them motoring towards the Munster tryline. 

A charge down follows but Munster are spared as the referee calls back for an advantage.

Flag 22Mins

Munster 3-0 Saracens

NO TRY!

Munster’s Rory Scannell races over after being put through by Chris Farrell. But the referee rules out the score for a forward pass that was just marginally forward.

27Mins

Munster 3-0 Saracens

Great work from Gallagher as he accelerates out of the Saracens’ defence. He tries to link up with Ben Spencer but CJ Stander gets in the way and the move results in a scrum for Munster. 

33Mins

Munster 10-0 Saracens

A Munster try at last.

Brilliant work from the hosts as they recycle the ball out to Earls on the wing. He tries to break through but is held up and Murray comes to feed the ball across to the incoming O’Mahony.

The captain pushes through a gap to touch the ball down and Hanrahan adds the conversion to push Munster further ahead.

Flag 36Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

POST!

Saracens had a chance to get their first points from a penalty but Ben Spencer’s shot comes back off the post.

The visitors converge to try and execute a try from the move but they fail to break through.

Spencer gets another chance as the referee awards a penalty and he splits the posts.

The hosts hold the advantage at the break after an impressive first-half display. But they will feel their dominance in possession deserved more points on the board.

Still, O’Mahony’s try on the half-hour mark separates the sides along with Hanrahan’s conversion and penalty from earlier.

Some highlights from the first-half 

peter-omahony-scores-a-try-despite-brad-barritt Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

andrew-conway-with-matt-gallagher Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

mike-haley Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

jj-hanrahan-kicks-a-penalty Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

rory-scannell-runs-in-for-what-was-a-disallowed-try Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

peter-omahony-scores-a-try-despite-brad-barritt Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

40Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

We’re off for the second half.

43Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

Maro Itoje knocks the ball on while Saracens are pushing forward after the restart. Murray gets Munster moving from the resultant scrum and fails to find touch as Gallagher gathers the ball.

The move ends with Saracens earning a penalty. 

47Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

Saracens knock the ball on again within touching distance of the tryline.

Although it’s important to point out that the ball is slippy in a rainy Thomond Park.

53Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

The pace of the game has dropped slightly but Musnter are working through the phases to try and break through the line.

Saracens now have a penalty and they send the ball into the corner to try and seek out a try again. 

54Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

The attacks just aren’t coming off as Saracens would like as Spencer’s attempted box kick is way overcooked and bounces out over the endline. 

57Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

Munster change: John Ryan is on for Stephen Archer.

Saracens change: Rhys Carre replaces Richard Barrington. 

61Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

Another handling error for Saracens. This time it’s Rotimi Segun who fumbles the ball forward from a Conway clearance.

Munster go for the scum, and some more poor handling follows as Murray’s pass to Conway bounces off his chest.

64Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

Another Saracens change: Rotimi Segun makes way for Max Malins. 

68Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens

Hanrahan races in to get a charge down on Mallins’ clearance. The pace of the game might have dipped but Munster will be happy to keep the visitors in their half of the pitch.

The weather conditions are really poor and have impacted on the quality of the game.

Munster 10-3 Saracens 

More changes for Munster as we enter the final 10 minutes: Arno Botha and Liam O’Connor come in for CJ Stander and James Cronin. 

76Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens 

Another dropped ball. The handling error count reads Munster 9-11 Saracens. That should give you an indication of how bad the weather conditions are. 

We’re well inside the final five minutes of the second half. 

Flag 82Mins

Red Card: Munster 10-3 Saracens 

Arno Botha is dismissed in the final seconds for a head-high challenge while trying to carry the ball forward.

83Mins

Munster 10-3 Saracens 

So the play keeps rolling as Manu Vunipola kicks for the corner. Saracens are looking for the equalising try,

Munster 10-3 Saracens 

Well that was a forgettable second half. The weather took the bite out of that game hugely as neither side managed to add anything to the scoreboard after the restart.

O’Mahony’s try combined with Hanrahan’s conversion and penalty proved to be enough for the win, while Saracens could only muster points from a Ben Spencer penalty. 

Well that’s all from us, folks. 

Stay tuned for Murray Kinsella’s match report from Thomond Park. But for now, it’s goodbye from us.

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