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Munster, in their first home Heineken Champions Cup game of the season, achieved their second victory in less than a week as they claimed a 19-13 win over Castres Olympique.
This round 2 game was frustrating for the home side as Johann Van Graan’s side only scored one try on a cold night at Thomond Park in Limerick.
Munster, who beat Wasps 35-14 on the road last weekend at Coventry Building Society Arena, would have expected an easier success against what many viewed as a Castres second-string side.
Healy opened the scoring
Castres were penalised for not rolling away in the sixth minute giving Ben Healy the ideal opportunity to open the scoring. The Munster number 10 successfully kicked the penalty for an early Munster lead. In the 28th minute, Healy doubled the advantage when scoring his second penalty of the night.
Damian De Allende thought he had scored the hosts’ opening try of the game shortly after the half hour mark when the former Springbok crossed the line, with his side having a penalty advantage.
The officiating team, who spent a long period of time in discussion before finally coming to a decision, said the South African had failed to successfully touch down.
With less than a minute remaining in the opening half, Urdapilleta got his side on the score board when kicking a straightforward penalty from just outside the 22m line.
Half-time: Munster Rugby 9 Castres Olympique 3
It took the home side until the cusp of the hour mark before they finally scored a try. Jack O’Donoghue achieved his first European Cup try, and his 28th Munster career try, when the Waterford man touched down in in front of the East Stand.
The initial on-field decision was no try, but following consultation between the officials, English referee Matthew Carley awarded the five-pointer. Ben Healy added the extras with an excellent kick from the touchline to push his side into a 16-3 lead.
Urdapilleta doubled Castres’ score when successfully kicking his second penalty of the night from just outside the 22m line.
Munster headed into the final 15 minutes of the game with a 16-6 advantage as Johann Van Graan began to empty his bench. Healy kicked another penalty with 10 minutes remaining on the clock as he extended Munster’s lead to 19-6.
It was the visitors who had the final say in the game, however, as Kevin Kornath crossed for the French side’s try, before Urdapilleta converted, leaving Munster six point victors.
Final score: Munster Rugby 19 Castres Olympique 13
15. Patrick Campbell, 14. Andrew Conway, 13. Chris Farrell, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Ben Healy, 9. Conor Murray.
1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. John Ryan, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 6. Peter O’Mahony (captain), 7. John Hodnett, 8. Jack O’Donoghue.
16. Diarmuid Barron, 17. Josh Wycherley, 18. Keynan Knox, 19. Jason Jenkins, 20. Jack O’Sullivan, 21. Craig Casey, 22. Jack Crowley, 23. Alex Kendellen.
15. Larregain, 14. Guillemin, 13. Combezou, 12. Aguillon, 11. Nakosi, 10. Urdapilleta, 9. Arata.
1. De Benedittis,2. Ngauamo, 3. Hounkpatin, 4. Jacquet, 5. Hannoyer, 6. de Crespigny, 7. Meka, 8. Kornath.
Castres Olympique Replacements:
16. Humbert, 17. Nostadt, 18. Guillamon, 19. Whetton, 20.Li Williams, 21. Kockott, 22. Le Brun, 23. Zeghdar.