Saturday, December 12, 2009
Munster showed their experience by coming from behind to get the win against a Perpignan side that scored three tries against them in the Pool 1 Heineken Cup match at Thomond Park last night.
Under pressure after being dropped from the Ireland side that played the Springboks, Ronan OGara came back well as he kicked Munster to a thrilling 24-23 victory over the Top 14 champions.
It was the visitors who scored three tries though, two of which were outstanding. The first of the three was scored by Yoann Vivalda after a sloppy lineout, but then Nicolas Durand outdid Doug Howlett one-on-one with a superb step before touching down in the corner.
OGara and Jerome Porical exchanged penalties in the second half, before the 70th minute produced an excellent solo effort from former Cheetahs fullback, South African Philip Burger.
The former Sevens player, who showed such promise in the Currie Cup in 2007, collected the ball just outside his 22 before racing downfield to outstrip the Munster defenders and score a classic try that took the visitors into the lead with ten minutes left.
All the hard work was undone though as flanker Bertrand Guiry gave a penalty away right in front of the posts with a high tackle. OGara duly kicked the match-winning points, and the home side now look on track to quality for the quarter finals for the twelfth successive year.
Munster coach Tony McGahan praised Man of the Match OGaras performance.
"I thought Ronan O'Gara was outstanding. He has been outstanding ever since he came back into the camp after the autumn internationals," said McGahan.
"He is a tremendously strong-willed person. He did not lose his belief and we certainly did not lose our belief in him. It was an outstanding performance from an outstanding player. Everyone is delighted for him," he added.