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Munster v Saracens - Live
full-time Munster 15 Saracens 9
80 Munster take the ball through their backs for several phases. They're running down the clock and when the time is up on the clock Murray boots the ball into the crowd. That's the end of the match! Munster deserve this win as they held the upperhand for large periods, especially during the second half. But Saracens, and in particular Farrell, will ruing those missed penalties which would have made a huge difference to the end result.
79 PENALTY, SARACENS, FARRELL. 15-9. Farrell finally lands one from the kicking tee after Munster are pinned for an infringement at a ruck.
77 Hodgson puts the ball out on the edge of Munster's 22 after several Munster forwards go off their feet at a ruck.
75 Farrell steps up to take another shot at goal after Simon Zebo is penalised for pushing Chris Ashton off the ball. But once again the Sarries centre is off target! This time his effort hits the upright and O'Gara dots the ball down behind his try-line.
73 Botha is penalised for illegal scrummaging. Hodgson puts the ball into touch midway between Munster's 22 and the halfway mark.
71 Conor Murray is blown up for not putting the ball in straight at a scrum. Sarries opt to take a scrum.
68 Sarries are trying desperately to get something out of this match but lose momentum when George Kruis is blown up for holding onto the ball on the ground. O'Gara puts the ball out on the edge of Sarries' 22.
66 David Strettle runs onto a long pass from Farrell and sets off on a run down the touchline! He beats one defender but is tackled into touch by Felix Jones.
65 Saracens are stringing several phases together and are soon inside Munster's 22. They create an overlap and Will Fraser is in the clear! He makes a dash for the line but fails to score as Howlett and Simon Zebo combine to keep him out. After consulting the TMO, the referee rules that no try has been scored.
62 Murray spots a gap behind Sarries' defence and launches poorly executed box kick which rolls over the dead-ball line.
60 Munster are on the attack after James Downey runs a brilliant line to take a pass from Murray! Nothing comes of it though as Sarries soon win a turnover.
58 Farrell gets another chance to narrow the gap after several Munster players are pinned for going off their feet at a ruck. But once again his penalty attempt is off-target.
56 Keith Earls makes a sniping break but Kelly Brown does well when he brings him to ground with a fine tackle.
54 PENALTY, MUNSTER, O'GARA! 15-6. O'Gara adds the extras after Joubert fails to roll away at a ruck.
50 PENALTY, MUNSTER, O'GARA! 12-6. O'Gara adds another three-pointer after Charlie Hodgson is pinned for being offside.
48 Munster put huge pressure on Sarries at a scrum and win a deserved tighthead!
46 Brits is blown up for not releasing Doug Howlett in the tackle and O'Gara puts the ball into touch about 10 metres outside Saracens' 22.
44 PENALTY, SARACENS, FARREL! 9-6. Farrell makes up for his earlier miss with a three-pointer after Donnacha Ryan is penalised for an infringement at a maul.
43 Farrell gets a chance to narrow the gap to three points after O'Callaghan is pinned for a ruck infringement. However, once again he fails to strike it properly and the ball falls just short of the cross-bar.
40 Owen Farrell gets the second half started! His kick is gathered by James Coughlan who sets up a ruck just outside his 22.
Half-time Munster 9 Saracens 3
40 Munster launch an attack inside Sarries' half and O'Gara drops into the pocket before attempting a drop goal. It's just wide of the uprights and with a shrill blow on his whistle referee Pascal Gauzere brings the half to an end. It's been a tight contest but Munster will look to kick on after the the break as they have dominated towards the latter part of this half. Whether Saracens allow that to happen is another story as a win for them will consolidate their position at the top of the pool.
39 PENALTY, MUNSTER, O'GARA! 9-3. O'Gara restores his side's six-point lead after Joubert is penalised for interfering with O'Callaghan in the air at a line-out.
37 PENALTY, SARACENS, FARRELL! 6-3. Owen Farrell adds his side's first points after BJ Botha is penalised for scrumming inwards.
35 Saracens are on the attack at a line-out inside Munster's 22 but Brits fails to find Ernst Joubert and the hosts' gain a reprieve!
33 Munster are pinned for early engagement at a scrum. Saracens' captain Steve Borthwick opts to take another scrum.
31 O'Gara does well when he puts the ball into touch on the halfway line but Ashton takes a quick throw-in and Goode sets off on an attacking run.
29 PENALTY, MUNSTER, O'GARA! 6-0. O'Gara adds another three-pointer after Kelly Brown is blown up for using his hands in a ruck.
27 Saracens do well to put pressure on Munster's line-out but when De Kock wins possession he is promptly bundled into touch by Sherry.
25 Peter O'Mahony is pinned for being offside at a ruck and Hodgson puts the ball out just inside Munster's half.
23 Mako Vunipola, who is on as Gill's replacement, is pinned for illegal scrummaging. O'Gara kicks for touch but fails to put the ball out and David Strettle returns his kick with a hoof upfield.
20 YELLOW CARD, MUNSTER, O'CALLAGHAN. Donncha O'Callaghan is also pinned for his role in the fisticuffs and follows Gill to the cooler.
20 YELLOW CARD, SARACENS, GILL. The referee is having is hands full as several players get involved in a free-for-all! Donncha O'Callaghan, and Rhys Gill are at the heart of the action. Both players are eventually given their marching orders.
19 Munster attack inside Saracens' half but the visitors gain a reprieve when several Munster forwards are pinned for going off their feet at a ruck.
18 Saracens are awarded a penalty in front of their try-line when O'Gara fails to roll away from the wrong side of a ruck.
16 Donncha O'Callaghan is penalised for obstruction at a line-out and Hodgson puts the ball out 10 metres from Munster's 22.
14 Owen Farrell takes a shot at goal after Mike Sherry is penalised for going off his feet at a ruck. He doesn't strike the ball sweetly and it falls just short of the cross-bar.
12 Saracens launch a brilliant counter-attack from deep inside their half. Alex Goode wins about thirty metres when he sets off on a mazy run before offloading to Brad Barritt who passes to Chris Ashton. The wing kicks ahead but Doug Howlett saves the day for Munster when he dots the bouncing ball down behind his try-line.
10 Sarries are awarded a penalty after BJ Botha is pinned for dropping his bind at a scrum. Hodgson puts the ball into touch just outside Munster's 22.
8 Sarries are awarded a tap penalty when Munster infringe at a scrum and Charlie Hodgson puts the ball into touch on the halfway mark.
6 Conor Murray makes a brilliant break off the back of a line-out! He's in the clear but when he offloads to Simon Zebo the ball is knocked on. What a let-off for Sarries!
5 PENALTY, MUNSTER, O'GARA! 3-0. Ronan O'Gara gets the first points of this match after Saracens are penalised for a ruck infringement.
3 Neil de Kock launches a box kick which Dave O'Callaghan takes and Kelly Brown is then penalised when he fails to release O'Callaghan after making a tackle on him.
Kick-off Ronan O'Gara gets the game underway! Saracens' forwards fail to control his kick until Chris Ashton eventually gathers the loose ball. But Munster eventually win a turnover and are soon on the attack!
Team News Saracens number eight Ernst Joubert will make his 100th appearance for the visitors. In other news, Saracens welcome back the England quintet of Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton, Alex Goode, Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola into the matchday 23. Barritt, Ashton, Goode and Farrell start the match while Vunipola is named on the bench. Kelly Brown and Schalk Brits also return to the side after being rested last weekend. Adam Powell, Jackson Wray, Jacques Burger, Justin Melck, Alistair Hargreaves and Joe Maddock all miss out through injury.
Team News Munster have made seven changes to the side that faced Edinburgh, in their last Cup clash, with two of those positional. James Coughlan, Ronan O'Gara and Keith Earls missed out last time through injury and Felix Jones came on as a replacement in that game on his comeback. Earls returned to the outside centre berth last week after the November internationals and he retains that jersey at the expense of Casey Laulala who offers a very potent back option off the bench. And with back-rowers Niall Ronan, Sean Dougall, and Tommy O'Donnell all on the injured list, opportunity knocks for Dave O'Callaghan who has been handed the number six shirt.
Welcome Hello and welcome to Thomond Park for this Heineken Cup Pool One hit-out between our hosts, Munster, and Saracens. We'll return shortly with team news!
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|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
There was loads of great rugby to enjoy over the weekend including a masterclass from New Zealand!
Munster were last crowned PRO12 champions in 2011 and since then have seen their fierce rivals Leinster leading the way as far as the Irish teams are concerned.
So much can change in a week of sporting action and, sure enough, there have been plenty of highs and lows over the past seven days.
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com