Rugby: Two Big Days Ahead For Munster

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rsz_mike_ohalloranOur rugby writer, Mike O’Halloran, on a disappointing day for Munster yesterday…

I ASKED in my preview of this game Can Munster win and I answered ‘of course they can’, but I was wrong.

Try as they might, Munster could not overcome ASM Clermont Auvergne, even after getting a dream start. I had hoped that there might be another miracle match in the Munster men especially given that they had Nigel Owens reefing.

Not the case this time as I believe Munster could have had a penalty or two more.

A 26 to 19 loss with a bonus point was just about achieved at the end with an intercept try by Duncan Casey (when ASMCA were in chase of a bonus point try) and a 35 metre kick from Keatley.

I suppose it was a miracle of sorts, but it will take two huge games after Christmas to get them to the quarter finals. Munster will face Saracens away in a game I’m really looking forward to after our last trip there, when the Sarries tannoy blasted out the Saracens theme song each time we tried to sing The Fields.

A win away against the Saracens and a win in the final game in Thomond should just about be enough.

JJ Hanrahan was given the start today and did manufacture a couple of breaks and let’s hope he can nail down a starting place for the remainder of the season.

The game in numbers

• ASM Clermont Auvergne 26 Munster 19.

• Tries ASM CA 3, Chouly 2 and Nakaitachi 1. Munster 1 Duncan Casey.

• Penalties ASM CA 3 Lopez, Munster 4 Keatley.

• Most metres made for Munster; Simon Zebo with 55 meters.

• Most tackles for Munster; Tommy O’Donnell with 11.

•  Tommy O’Donnell made the most carries for Munster with 11, followed by Paul O’Connell with 10.

• Munster had 57% possession and 55% of territory.

• ASM CA carried the ball 95 times to Munsters 101 carries.

• ASM CA made 512 meters to Munsters 361 meters.

• Attendance 17,723.

The next big game for Munster is the derby game versus Leinster on St Stephen’s Day in Thomond Park at 5pm in The Guinness Pro 12, that’s another day to don the charity Santy hats and cheer on ‘the Brave and The Faithful’.

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