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Sunday May 8, 2022

Thrilling clash between Munster and Toulouse settled by a place kick shootout

Rugby fans have been desperately waiting for a European ‘penalty shootout’ since 2009 – and in the quarter finals of the Champions Cup this weekend supporters finally got what they wished for.

The thrilling encounter between Munster and Toulouse was played in front of over 40,000 fans in Dublin and saw rugby being played at the highest level. But nobody could have expected how the game would end.

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Both teams displayed attacking flair and defensive resilience, which left the scores locked at 24-24 heading into the eightieth minute.

The Irish side let a ten point lead disappear in the second half, thanks partially to a brilliantly worked Toulouse lineout move which sent Matthis Lebel away to score.

Munster replacement fly half, Ben Healy, had a chance to win the game with the final kick, but his 50m attempt fell just short.

This meant that extra time was on the cards, and fans were already looking ahead to the possibility of a place kick shootout. Once again it was Healy who had the chance to win the game for Munster but his long-range drop goal in the final minutes slipped just past the post.

As a result,  for the first time in 13 years a European Cup game would be decided from the kicking tee.

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Since the infamous 2009 shootout between Cardiff and Leicester, the rules have changed slightly. Instead of each player taking one kick from the same spot, three players are now nominated from each side and kick from increasingly harder locations.

In the place kick shootout, Toulouse were immaculate from the boot, slotting all of their four attempts. Munster on the other hand missed three, one from Conor Murray and two sailed wide from Healy who showed a high amount of courage to nominate himself after his previous misses in the match.

As a result of Munster’s misses, it was Toulouse who will advance to the semi final stage after a 4-2 place kick victory.

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Both teams should walk away from this fixture extremely proud of the way they played, but ultimately it was European heartache for Muster at the hands of Toulouse.

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