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Munster Rugby will have history on their side when they host defending champions Stade Toulousain in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
The Irish province have won the most quarter-finals of any team in the competition with their tally of 14, including their last five – a run that features two victories against Toulouse (47-23 in 2013/14 and 41-16 in 2016/17).
They face off at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium at 15:00 UK and Irish time in a tie televised live by BT Sport, France 2 and beIN SPORTS.
Other key stats:
- Munster Rugby have won four of their previous seven Heineken Champions Cup encounters against Stade Toulousain, including a victory in the 2007/08 final (16-13). However, they lost their most recent clash with the five-time champions (33-40 in last season’s Round of 16).
- Munster and Stade Toulousain will each be playing in their 19th quarter-final in the Heineken Champions Cup. No other club have played as many fixtures at this stage of the competition.
- Stade Toulousain have won their last three quarter-final ties in the Heineken Champions Cup after losing their previous three in a row, two of those defeats coming against Munster.
- Stade Toulousain have won their last four Heineken Champions Cup away games against Irish teams, this after losing their previous five such matches. Their last three wins in Ireland have each come by exactly seven points.
- Munster are one of two teams remaining in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup not to have conceded a single try that originated from a scrum. Additionally, 20% of their own tries have originated from scrums, the highest percentage of any side remaining in this season’s competition.
- No side have forced more opposition turnovers in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup than Munster (48). Additionally, no team left in the competition have conceded more turnovers this season than Stade Toulousain (70).
- Stade Toulousain have beaten an average of 30 defenders per game in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup. Only Leinster (31) have averaged more in the competition in 2021/22.
- No player has claimed more lineouts in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup than Munster’s Peter O’Mahony (36). O’Mahony has also stolen at least three more opposition lineouts than any other player this season (7).
- Stade Toulousain’s Antoine Dupont has beaten 18 defenders in his three Heineken Champions Cup appearances this season. His average of six defenders beaten per game is the most of any player to feature more than once in the competition in 2021/22.
Andrew Conway just loves a QF try ❤️
His winning effort for @Munsterrugby in 2018 was one of the tries of the season 🔥
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) May 3, 2022
Johann van Graan (Munster head coach): “We believe this will go right to the very end. One big difference this year is we have the red army travelling to Dublin. We are banking on our 16th man to make a massive difference on Saturday.”
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Stade Toulousain beat Munster Rugby on place kicks to reach the Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals after a breathtaking 24-24 draw at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Extra time was required with the sides level after 80 minutes, but the additional 20 minutes couldn’t separate the two teams either and so the game was decided on a rare shoot-out, which reigning champions Toulouse claimed 4-2.
Misses from Munster’s Ben Healy and Conor Murray proved crucial, as Toulouse’s Thomas Ramos, Antoine Dupont (2) and Romain Ntamack made no mistake with their efforts.
Munster had led with five minutes to play thanks to tries from Alex Kendellen, Keith Earls and Mike Haley, in addition to a Joey Carbery penalty, but Toulouse, who had crossed through Romain Ntamack and Matthis Lebel (2), notched a three-pointer through Ramos to send the game into the additional period.
Munster drew first blood as flanker Kendellen squeezed over after a slick lineout move on nine minutes, but Toulouse were level moments later when fly-half Ntamack planted down following a break from full-back Ramos.
The two sides wrestled for control over the next quarter of an hour, but Toulouse’s dominant scrum began to provide the visitors with an attacking platform, and they capitalised on that on 26 minutes as they gained forward momentum before sending wing Lebel over in the corner.
Wow… Wow, wow wow.
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 7, 2022
Carbery was off target with a penalty on 34 minutes as the Irish province attempted to reduce the deficit, but after wing Earls dotted down out wide in the final moments of the half, the fly-half drew his side level with an excellent conversion.
Despite another Carbery penalty drifting wide early in the second half, Munster would take the lead on 44 minutes as centre Chris Farrell scythed through the Toulouse defence and teed up full-back Haley to squirm over.
Toulouse lock Rory Arnold was sin-binned on 50 minutes for a dangerous tackle on Munster wing Simon Zebo and following more ill-discipline from the French side over the minutes that followed, Carbery slotted his first penalty of the game.
They were the only points scored with Toulouse down to 14 men and once they were back to their full complement, the visitors grabbed a third try as Lebel surged through midfield and produced an outrageous sidestep to beat the last man and dive over on 67 minutes.
It almost never happens in rugby…
Munster and Toulouse locked at 24-24 after 80 minutes plus extra time, it all came down to a 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗸𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻!
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 7, 2022
A Ramos penalty then left the scores at 24-24 on 75 minutes and Munster replacement fly-half Ben Healy was unable to hand his side victory with a penalty attempt from inside his own half with the clock in the red, sending the game to extra time.
The additional 20 minutes offered little to separate the two sides, with Ramos and Healy both unsuccessful with drop-goal attempts, and with both teams having scored the same number of tries, a place kick competition was required.
And it would ultimately be heartbreak for Munster, as Murray and Healy dragged their efforts wide and Toulouse’s kickers held their nerve to book their place in the last four.