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Monday, October 12, 2009

Northampton Saints beat Munster in nail biter at Franklins Gardens

Northampton Saints beat Munster in nail biter at Franklins Gardens

Northampton Saints did Munster no favours as they beat them 31-27 in an energy charged Heineken Cup match at Franklin Gardens on Saturday. It was a brilliant return to the Heineken Cup for Saints, following a three-season absence.

Shame Geraghty was the standout player of the match as he impressed with his dynamic flyhalf display. England coach Martin Johnson was watching from the stands and will no doubt have taken notice of the star Saints number ten.

He scored a try and created two others as he tallied up 21 points, helping Saints with a repeat of their win over Munster in the 2000 final, the last time these two sides met in the competition.

Three times capped Geraghty turned a tight game in his teams favour with an opportunist try on the stroke of half time as he tapped and ran a penalty when Munster expected him to kick for goal.

Wing Chris Ashton crossed with two tries, with David Wallace scoring once for Munster.

Geraghty killed them off though on 75 minutes with a penalty, halting their stirring fightback following four penalties from Ronan OGara and a neatly taken try by Tomas OLeary.

It was a high quality contest that had elements of all the ingredients required for a great spectacle. Munster hammered away at the line relentlessly as the clock counted down, but Saints held out with staunch defence, picking up a truly memorable win.


Time: 05:06

Posted at 6:03 pm | 32 comments

Viewing 32 comments

Richie October 12, 2009 8:22 pm

Brilliant match. Even though we lost I still enjoyed it, a while after the whistle though. ;) Great performance from Northampton. The onus point will come in handy and as it was the Lions' first full match back apart from Earls, I'm confident we'll improve.

Treviso beating Perpignan was a big shock but a big help to us as well.

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Richie October 12, 2009 8:24 pm

Also just to add, can't believe we fell asleep for Geraghty's try. Stupid mistake.

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Mr P October 12, 2009 8:47 pm

Munster were poor especially at the breakdown. O'Connell has turned into a compltete whinge bag always moaning at the referee, sick of it. They've recruited too many overseas players they just arnt gelling together this year

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Bob October 12, 2009 9:04 pm

some clowns call it being a whinge bag, others call it doing a captains job

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Anonymous October 12, 2009 9:05 pm

Fantastic game, great advert for the heinekein cup. Lawes was superb

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AdamJaya October 12, 2009 9:08 pm

Awesome game, great reminder of how good the game of rugby can be, and a timely reminder to those arrogant SH guys who believe that all NH rugby is 10 man kickfests that us lot up here can produce some great matches too. Not aiming that at all SH rugby fans, just those who have that arrogant believe that their hemisphere of rugby is always better.
As for the match, amazing performance from Northampton - Munster are probably the toughest team to beat in the contest, alongside maybe Toulouse, so a massive effort was needed and gotten. Great effort from Munster, but how good were Geraghty, Lawes, Hartley, Ashton and co? Great work Geraghty - him either at 10 or at 12 inside JW will be a lethal combo.
Fantastic match, the return leg at Thomond Park will be an epic. Well done to both teams, and to Treviso obviously :D

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Richie October 12, 2009 9:17 pm

RE: O' Connell, he was criticised on the Lions tour by some for now speaking to the referee enough, yet when he does, he's called a 'whinger,' he can't win.

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sebastian October 12, 2009 9:31 pm

i was very delighted i got to see this game. very nice work by the saints

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The Inside Shoulder October 12, 2009 9:41 pm

Looking forward to seeing Geraghty in an England shirt

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Damien October 12, 2009 9:42 pm

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/rugby_union/2678459/Three-KOd-in-Romanian-rugby-ruck-CSU-Arad-RCM-Timisoara.html

New mass brawl from Romania between CSU Arad & RCM Timisoara!Is the 2nd one in this season after Farul Constanta & Dinamo Bucharest!

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Fry October 12, 2009 9:48 pm

Haha, Mr. P - you're definitely right...unfortunately. It seems POC puts more effort into complaining than he does into playing. He may be a captain, Bob, but not before he's a player on the team. Maybe he should try and win the ball instead of claiming the other team has dived over the ruck.

I don't remember him being called out for not speaking to the referee enough on the Lions tour. I thought he underperformed there, too. I'm a huge Munster fan but there are times when I really dislike POC.

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Mikee October 12, 2009 10:02 pm

awww, i was hopin to hear the "Paul O Connell has just been molested"
that was the funniest piece of commentating ive ever heard

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John F October 12, 2009 10:39 pm

Jean De Villiers must be getting a bit of a surprise. First he gets skinned by BOD in the game the other week, then he got smashed back in the tackle by Downey against Northampton and then Courteney Lawes sat him down! It's tough up here in the Northern Hemisphere!

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Lorcan October 12, 2009 10:50 pm

Looked like a great game. Long season to go and you will see Munster in much stronger form in March, lets just hope they're still in the HC at that stage!

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flapjack October 12, 2009 11:05 pm

You could always request the clip in the "requests" section, Mikee. I remember hearing that and thinking, "Did he really just say that?!"...pretty hilarious. It'd be a pretty short clip, so I dunno if it'd make it on here, but it definitely was funny.

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ceeps October 12, 2009 11:32 pm

i saw O'Gara put a tackle in on thi clip...must be the first since last year as he certainly didn't do any on the lions tour

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Jayz October 12, 2009 11:48 pm

John F, Jean de Villiers has actually been in a team that has beaten the All Blacks three times in a row, something your precious little BOD hasn't even done once.

Seems like Jean came at the wrong time, a time where Munster are playing awful rugby, Oh well.. at least he can blend in and not try and still make big money.

SH>NH

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Anonymous October 13, 2009 12:20 am

Can't wait for Courtney Lawes to get promoted to the senior squad.... he's just beastly compared to the other locks we have available. He's got that agression we're missing ala Bakkies Botha... i don't think thats an unfair comparison.

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Anonymous October 13, 2009 1:47 am

Anon Above, I know... don't you just love the way Botha plays?

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Lorcan October 13, 2009 5:48 am

Don't get your knickers in a twist Jayz, they were reasonable comments about JDV, no reason to try turning this into the pathetic squabble that permeates most of these threads.

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Shaft October 13, 2009 8:19 am

Every player has ups and downs. JDV just arrived in a new country, at a new club (province?), and has come off a long SH season.

He's done some good things too from what I've seen, so picking out his missed tackle and him getting hit hard (part of rugby) is pretty silly.

I'm sure he'll come good and the Munster faithful will be singing his praises in no time. :)

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Kenny October 13, 2009 12:36 pm

Munster will hammer this lot at thomand, guaranteed...5 more minutes in this game and it would have been lights out for the saints. They seemed to run out of steam and were just holding on by the end.

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John F October 13, 2009 12:44 pm

Jayz, I never said that he isn't a good player, I merely commented that he does look slightly undercooked given the intensity of the matches he's been involved with so far. You are undoubtedly right that he is coming off the back of the SH season and so may need some rest, he's certainly not the crash ball merchant at 12 that Munster tried to use him as when Downey smashed him. He has the misfortune to be playing outside a player who doesn't do creativity.

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Kenny October 13, 2009 1:35 pm

Jayz, "SH>NH"

Thats what keeps you warm at night when JDV gets a hard tackle or 2.

Grow up you idiot, he got owned last week and this week, so get over it.

Even if the SH is better than the NH he still got left on his ass.
Go figure...

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Phil October 13, 2009 3:09 pm

One thing that must be annoying for people from SH countries is that when you look at a globe, it's usually angled so that you can easily see the NH countries, whereas the SH ones are 'underneath'. I think that decisively settles the ongoing NH/SH debate.

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John F October 13, 2009 5:53 pm

Kenny,

you are probably right that this bonus point will as always be useful to Munster if they win by more than 7 against Northampton at Thomond Park. I was already thinking this at the end of the game as a Wasps fan. Two years ago they got the losing bonus point away to Wasps and Clermont but won both their home games against those two without conceding the bonus point. In what was a tight group, it was the difference between three teams that had won 4 out of 6 games.

That group makes me wonder though, if Clermont Auvergne can get out of the group stage (that's presuming they take it seriously), then I genuinally think that they could win the whole competition. They may choke in Top 14 finals but their team is outstanding in most matches and in the knock out rounds I reckon they'd be better off than in the group when they can't seem to decide whether they're bothered about the Heineken Cup or not. Against Munster last year at Thomond, it was incredible how well they fought a man down once that idiot Cudmore had got sent off.

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Anonymous October 14, 2009 3:32 am

Desperately want the clip of de Villiers getting absolutely beasted by Downey.

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Kenny October 14, 2009 8:31 am

"Desperately want the clip of de Villiers getting absolutely beasted by Downey."

Dunno about that, Jayz might start crying again if he sees the clip of the guy who helped beat the all blacks 3 times in a row again, seeing as the SH>NH

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Anonymous October 14, 2009 2:27 pm

Great match from Northhampton! :D

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Huh!! the 3rd October 14, 2009 8:56 pm

Yeah it was a great win by the Saints, but it has to be commented, Munster were again 2nd in all areas, yet still could have taken the win. Come Jan when Munster are firing I can see them doing to the Saints what they've done to most English teams in the final round.

For Saints incredible home record, their away one is the opposite. They tend to ship alot of points on the road.

JdV has had some nice moments as well lets not forget. The hit from Downey was great, but dV did get straight back up.

I agree that Lawes can become an enforcer ala Botha, but he seems to be more athletic so Matfield may be the better comparison. Although any other 2nd row is a better choice than Borthwick, so the sooner Johnson picks him the better off Eng will be.

Agree with comments on Clermont, with the final in Paris, they don't have to travel, but as is pointed out, I think they've lost the last 3 T14 finals in a row, so they do have issues.

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Fridge October 15, 2009 1:02 pm

I've rated Geraghty for a long long time. In my opinion, is and always has been miles a head of Cipriani.

Great to see him playing so well.

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rolloart92 October 18, 2009 3:18 pm

I agree with 'The Inside Shoulder', can't wait to see Geraghty at 12 with Wilko at 10 and Tait at 13.
And i want to see Lawes smash some players in a England shirt.

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