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- European Rugby Champions Cup
- Pool 1
- 16th Dec 2012
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Vicarage Road
- Att: 16,223
Saracens v Munster - Live
80 Full-time in Watford and Saracens pick up priceless win, with Pool 1 now in their own hands. Munster meanwhile know they have it all to do in Rounds 5 & 6.
79 A huge penalty win for Stevens at scrum-time as - following a couple of resets - the clock ticks down. It's all about winning their line-out and putting it out now.
78 Munster weren't done though and threw everything at Saracens in the home 22. Unfortunately for them though, a speculative Laulala offload went forward so Sarries fans can breathe again. They must first win their scrum and clear their lines though.
77 FARRELL PENALTY! 19-13! Fraser has just made amends. Munster looked to go from their own 22 and it backfired as Zebo was isolated and the English flanker pounced to win his side a key penalty. The rest was all down to Farrell.
74 O'Gara's penalty miss almost turns into something more for Munster though as he puts up a high one that is not taken. However, Sherry loses the ball forward in contact before a scrum penalty goes the way of Saracens. Huge minute for the hosts.
73 Well well, he is human in the Heineken Cup. O'Gara has just hooked one after Stevens failed to roll away 40 metres out. Is that their opportunity gone?
71 O'Gara decides to go high again here (still with a man advantage) but that's a fine take from Wyles, who calls the mark while Fraser has a minute more to wait.
69 Two moments of high class rugby there. First O'Gara kicked a beautiful touch-finder into Saracens' corner but in response Smit's line-out was superb before De Kock responded with a great kick of his own. Munster line-out close to halfway.
68 Saracens will drop-out then which means Munster will come again, this time from their own half via the airborne route. But that's a great catch in the wet from fly-half Farrell who calls for the mark in his 22. Doing the basics will be key from here on in.
67 O'Gara in the pocket...he's missed!
66 This is relentless from Munster as 22 phases are racked up.
64 So Munster have a one-man advantage and territory to utilise that on the home 22. Can they make this count as Fraser watches on from the sidelines.
62 FRASER YELLOW! It's for a high shot on Howlett.
61 Brits is off for John Smit and will throw in 25 metres from his own line. Chris Wyles is also on for Goode at full-back as Mark McCall brings on some fresh legs.
60 FARRELL PENALTY! 16-13! Great kick.
59 Laulala has just lined up Farrell with a big hit on halfway, but soon after a Munster forward fails to roll away so Farrell can push his side ahead from 40 out.
57 FARRELL PENALTY! 13-13! We're level again after an huge scrum leads to Munster collapsing. No time spared by Farrell as he levels from in front.
54 But a bad pass to Farrell sees a fumble so the chance goes.
53 So for the first time today, Saracens are behind. On comes Neil de Kock for Wigglesworth with the hosts attacking with purpose here on the 22. Goode looks for the grubber and that is clever from Ashton as he drags Zebo into touch five metres out.
51 O'GARA PENALTY! 10-13! Ashton has just made a big error by not releasing the ball after being tackled by O'Dea so up steps O'Gara from distance, looking to make the England wing pay. He does with a lovely strike in the pouring rain. Munster lead.
49 As things stand, Saracens, Munster and Racing are tied on 12.
48 The rain is falling in Watford but that doesn't stop Zebo from claiming a tester in the air from Strettle. Boy this is end to end now as Barritt's powerful break over halfway results in a turnover and Murray replying with a great touch-finder into Saracens' half.
45 He's missed again! This is not good from Farrell.
44 They have the chance to put three on the board after Du Preez is penalised for pulling down that maul. So up steps Farrell to right the wrong of minute 39.
43 An early mistake from Ashton almost costs Saracens possession but he did well to pull out of trying to catch Murray's box kick that bounces into touch. In fact, it leads to good territory for Saracens which leads to a maul ten metres out. Can they open well?
Second-half Welcome back to Watford with things all square at 10 apiece as O'Gara restarts us. A change to mention as Mako Vunipola is on for Gill at loosehead.
40 He's missed the far post by a matter of centimetres so we go in level.
39 What about this for defence from Saracens as they turn it over at a vital time and then look to go from their own 22. Farrell finds Tomkins who then goes to Strettle and his kick ahead leads to Munster holding on at ruck-time. So, Saracens can go in three points ahead...
37 O'Mahony has received some medical treatment which delays O'Gara kicking to the home 22 with the line-out to come. This is a big moment - a score here would be huge.
35 Tomkins' line-bust led to Strettle finding space on the left wing before a blatant offside from Coughlan saw Saracens chip it into the corner. It backfires as the former rugby league centre is then isolated on the other touchline. Maybe they should have taken the three.
33 We have just had some end-to-end stuff as a huge hit from Laulala on Ashton close to the Munster 22 led to O'Gara hacking downfield for replacement O'Dea. Saracens survive though and how as Tomkins breaks the line on halfway to spark something.
31 And territory is what Saracens have now thanks to Farrell grubbering superbly into the Munster corner. Munster are solid at the ensuing line-out though as this game remains beautifully balanced. There is nothing between them today, and in the Pool table.
29 O'Gara puts in an intelligent banana kick that pushes Saracens back to just outside their own 22, with the English to throw. It's solid form them as play now gets moved back into Munster territory before they have a kick dotted down in the home in-goal. Territory is king.
27 O'GARA CONVERSION! 10-10! He makes it.
26 HOWLETT TRY! 10-8! Well well. Munster have responded courtesy of a gift from Farrell. The fly-half throws a pass straight to the Irish centre, who runs 30 metres before handing nicely to Howlett. O'Gara has the conversion to come to make it ten apiece in Watford.
23 The new law bite Munster as they fail to use the ball at the back of a ruck in five seconds so Saracens will have the scrum. Few would argue that the law wasn't needed.
21 FARRELL CONVERSION! 10-3! Solid from the touchline.
20 STRETTLE TRY! 8-3! And that's even better from Wigglesworth, who grubbers brilliantly for the chasing Strettle to ground in the corner. Saracens retake the lead.
19 That's great running from inside centre Barritt soon after as he goes over O'Gara before Saracens come again through Brown. The hosts are about 20 metres out now.
17 No Farrell replies from one from hand as he pushes Saracens into Munster's 22. It looks like Jones is struggling with a leg injury here as the medical staff have a look at him.
16 O'GARA PENALTY! 3-3! He makes no mistake this time from a much simpler position so that ties things up here at Vicarage Road between these two Pool rivals.
15 Gill is penalised at a scrum now after losing his bind so up steps O'Gara from 40 metres on the angle to level matters...he has pushed it to the right of the uprights though.
13 That was nice from O'Gara as his grubber on halfway finds Zebo, who is eventually brought down by Wigglesworth. This game just oozes Heineken Cup rugby.
11 It has been an entertaining first ten or so minutes as Munster have it on halfway with the powerful Laulala. But once again this aggressive home defence stands firm.
9 FARRELL PENALTY! 3-0! Saracens are on the board now though as the England fly-half knocks one over from 40 metres after Borthwick was taken out in the air.
7 Following a few phases, Farrell is back in the pocket and goes for the drop-goal...just wide says referee Pascal Gauzere so it will be a Munster 22 drop-out.
5 That's a good scrum from Saracens as it's now they who win a penalty after BJ Botha's knock-on. Home ball on the Munster 22 then with Wigglesworth looking for his runners.
4 Aggressive defence from Saracens early on as O'Gara cops a couple of hits in that spell. But that leads to a Munster penalty, which they kick up to the home side's 22.
2 Munster win the early battle as they hold up Chris Ashton in contact to win themselves a scrum. There is a lot of emotion at that scrum as tempers fray early on.
Kick-off After an emotional minute's silence in memory of David Tait, the game starts. The former Sale Sharks back-row player was well respected by all who knew him.
Team news Saracens move Owen Farrell to fly-half with Joel Tomkins, David Strettle and George Kruis all coming into the line-up. Munster have brought Casey Laulala into the side in place of the injured Keith Earls. A late change sees Wian du Preez in for David Kilcoyne.
Welcome Our second and final live coverage this weekend comes from Vicarage Road as Saracens and Munster battle it out for a win that would take them above Racing Metro at the top of Pool 1. There should be a great atmosphere in Watford today. Team news coming up.
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|Friday 13th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|19:45||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Saturday 14th February|
|16:30||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|13:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|Friday 20th February|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Bath vs Northampton|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|14:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Sale|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale 18 - 11 Exeter|
Rupert Cox shares his highlights from the week's rugby action in his round-up blog...
The concentrated strength of talent in the Irish squad is a credit to the work Joe Schmidt has done for Ireland, says Paul Wallace.
Sky Sports will bring you the best of European rugby action from a crucial final round of pool fixtures as we broadcast six live games.
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com