Monday, December 21, 2009
Munster recorded a brilliant away win in the Heineken Cup as they beat Perpignan 37-14 at the Stade Aime Giral, picking up a bonus point in the process.
The French champions had a run of 16 successive European wins, with 23 unbeaten in all competitions. The last time they lost at home in a European competition was to Wasps, in 2004.
Munster changed all that though as they took control of the group, scoring tries through Denis Fogarty, Denis Hurley, Jean De Villiers, and Doug Howlett.
Perpignan prop Jerome Schuster was yellow carded for what looked like a charge into a ruck with the head, to put it mildly. Ronan OGara was then sin-binned a minute later for an early tackle as the Catalan side looked to counter-attack.
Guilhem Guirado scored for the home side with a nice move at the front of the lineout, but then Jean De Villiers showed his class by breaking through the Perpignan midfield with a nice step and handoff to score a quality try.
Doug Howlett then scored with a minute left in the match after a neat kick through by OGara, who was back on the field to show that he still has all the tricks.
It was a highly enjoyable game of rugby that had the intensity that one would expect to see from two of the top teams in the tournament.
"It's a great day for us. We put a lot of hard work into the game and we had a big work ethic, especially at the breakdown, said Munster captain Paul OConnell.
"We were patient and, once we transferred what we'd been doing on the training ground onto the pitch, then we knew we'd play well."
Ronan O'Gara kicks Munster to victory over Perpignan