Rugby

Player Ratings As Determined Munster Power To European Semi-Final Spot

Player Ratings As Determined Munster Power To European Semi-Final Spot

This was a battle to settle and then a test of metal. Munster's Murrayfield expedition saw Johann van Graan's outfit cast into a bear pit from minute one. Toe to toe, blow for blow, it ultimately came down to who would blink first.

It was Edinburgh. A moment's hesitation in defence allowed Keith Earls to pounce. No better man. The winger soared to touch down in the corner. In typical Munster fashion, they never gave up despite momentum and decisions going against them. They never looked beaten or down.

Injuries mounted with Scannell, Carbery and O'Donoghue all departing but it did not matter. Munster march into a European semi-final, wounded but victorious. It finished 17-13.

Here's the Munster player ratings.

Andrew Conway - 7

Munster player ratings

Stood in at full-back after Mike Haley withdrew before the game due to illness. Maybe a tad lucky to avoid yellow after competing in the air and then pulling at his opponent's arm. Fantastic covering to stop a near-certain try just after the hour mark.

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Darren Sweetnam - 7

Real commitment in his kick-chase. Nice break and pass back inside when playing with the advantage just after half-time but Peter O'Mahony was tackled without the ball to prevent a break. Incredible catch when forced to come from deep.

Chris Farrell - 7

Stood in as a flanker in the scrum while Beirne was off the field, then did his best Beirne impression with a superb jackal and steel. Made a real effort to vary up his game, with some nice offloading and a good kick in behind as well.

Rory Scannell - 8

Really strong start with a big tackle and carry inside the first five minutes. Another great tackle diving at the bootlaces of Darcy Graham but Munster couldn't get their scramble defence in order and Chris Dean got down for a try. A huge 13 tackles, the most of any back.

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Keith Earls - 9

munster player ratings

His first try was another brilliant reminder of Keith Earls' alertness, a skill often underappreciated in the game. Another crucial contribution in the second half with a try-saving tackle in the corner. Did really well to catch a long kick and stay in touch in the final quarter. Then, when Munster needed a leader, Earls rose. A sensational finish right in the corner. The baddest man on the planet.

Joey Carbery - N/A 

munster player ratings

Another really well-rounded game. Nailed his first conversion, followed it up with with a glorious pass wide and then stood up with a great catch. Then hurt his shoulder after tackling Mata. Replaced by Tyler Bleyendaal just before half-time.

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Conor Murray - 6 

Inaccurate with his kicking and at times slow to the breakdown. Lucky to avoid being penalised for a bodyslam before Munster's first try and then a silly slapdown in the second. One good offload for the final try. Really struggling for form overall.

Dave Kilcoyne - 7

The UL Bohemians man is in the form of his life and embodied that at the breakdown with real tenacity and aggression.

Niall Scannell - 7 

Fantastic long throw over the top for Rory Scannell to race up and collect from the centre. Remarkable work-rate in defence, huge moment when he Walt with a big hit.

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John Ryan - 6

Uncharacteristically in a world of trouble at the scrum, particularly in the second half. A decent shift in defence but no impact in attack. Taken off early in the second half. Amongst the European elite, Munster will need more from the front-row.

Jean Kleyn - 5 

munster player ratings

A nightmare five minutes around the half mark when he failed to secure possession to concede a scrum, forced an offload to turnover again and then conceded a penalty. A jaw-dropping low of only three tackles. Too high at a breakdown in the immediate aftermath of Munster squandering a try opportunity and was taken off a second later to be replaced by Billy Holland.

Tadhg Beirne - 7

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Sinbinned inside the opening ten minutes after diving on a ball and finding himself on the wrong side of a ruck. Made up for it with a huge shift all around the park.

Peter O’Mahony (C) - 8

munster player ratings

Here's a frankly ridiculous stat. For the final whistle stats, Peter O'Mahony was down for 19 tackles without missing one. The Cork man embodies all that is great about this Munster; work-rate, determination, pride in the jersey.

Jack O’Donoghue - N/A 

The young Waterford man was sensational in the opening half hour, with nine tackles and one jackal in 28 minutes. Was then taken off for a HIA. An 8 while on the pitch.

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CJ Stander - 7 

His carrying never really made huge yards and it is something Felix Jones will need to look at in terms of maximising attacking platforms.

Replacements - 7 

Arno Botha showed promise in his carrying but didn't have the same impact as O'Donoghue at the breakdown. Tyler Bleyendaal looked back to his best with some lovely passing and a great conversion kick from the touchline. Billy Holland was classy in the line-out. Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer steadied the scrum. Dan Goggin continued a big defensive shift and Jeremy Loughman also made an impact.

Munster ground it out. Good, but not great. There is some superb work done but more to do.

A European semi-final awaits.

SEE ALSO: Your Essential Guide To An Absolutely Incredible Sporting Weekend On TV

Maurice Brosnan

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