Home team Away Team


  • Penalty goals: O'Gara (5),
15 - 9


  • Penalty goals: Farrell (3),

Heineken Cup: Munster beat Saracens but bonus may be key

Last updated: 8th December 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Conor Murray of Munster passes the ball

Conor Murray spins out a pass for Munster

Dave O Callaghan Saracens Kelly Brown Muster

Dave O'Callaghan of Munster tangles with Saracens' Kelly Brown

Related links


Also see

Munster joined Saracens at the top of Heineken Cup Pool 1 after a 15-9 victory over their English rivals at Thomond Park.

Sarries had won two from two heading for Limerick but struggled to cope with Munster's intensity in front of a 26,000 crowd.

Despite that they could have earned a share of the spoils if Owen Farrel had brought his kicking boots. Unfortunatley one of the heroes of Twickenham a week ago missed four kicks from seven attempts at goal.

By contrast veteran points machine Ronan O'Gara kicked all five of his penalty chances for the hosts and that ultimately proved the difference between the sides.

But Farrell did kick a penalty two minutes from time to earn Saracens a losing bonus point that may prove crucial, with the sides now locked on 10 points apiece after three games and set to meet again in Watford next weekend.

With the referee's whistle an almost constant accompaniment to the spluttering action, flowing rugby was at a premium, although Conor Murray almost put Simon Zebo in under the posts in the opening minutes after a break from a lineout.

By then O'Gara had nudged Munster ahead and shortly afterwards a misfiring Farrell was short from 42 metres.

Donncha O'Callaghan and Rhys Gill were sin-binned following a fight and O'Gara doubled the lead before the sides shared a couple of late penalties and Munster led 9-3 at the break.

Just after the re-start Farrell was short with a 40-metre penalty, but within 60 seconds he had another chance from closer in and he knocked this one over.

O'Gara cooly converted two more penalties to stretch the lead and Farrell missed a straightforward penalty dragged wide, before Will Fraser was denied at the corner by brilliant defence from Doug Howlett.

Felix Jones had to make a try-saving tackle on David Strettle as the England winger headed for the corner and after Chris Ashton was taken out off the ball, Farrell had a chance to earn the bonus point with seven minutes left.

He missed yet again but was given one final chance two minutes from time, from an almost identical position after a Munster lineout offence, and this time he made no mistake.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
13:00Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
15:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com