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The Player Ratings As Munster See Off Bullshit Refereeing And Batter Toulouse

The Player Ratings As Munster See Off Bullshit Refereeing And Batter Toulouse
By Gavan Casey Updated
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Munster were probably made to fight harder than was necessary for a 41-16 victory over Toulouse.

Despite running away with the game late as Toulouse predictably caved in, the third quarter saw a tense back-and-forth, largely due to JP Doyle's inexplicable decision to award Toulouse a try despite having acknowledged the pass to Paul Perez was forward. You can view that bizarre and frankly stupid incident here.

Tries from John Ryan, CJ Stander, Darren Sweetnam and Andrew Conway would eventually see Toulouse off, as the out-of-form French aristocrats folded in the final stages.

Here are the Munster player ratings from a solid day's work at Thomond.

Backs

Simon Zebo: 8.5

Defended superbly - one perfectly-timed man-and-ball hit in the 19th minute will go overlooked, but denied a certain score. Outstanding in the air with five or six huge grabs - two of them particularly monstrous. Injected pace into proceedings when he decided to go. A calm head on a tense occasion.

Darren Sweetnam: 7

A wonderful finish masked what wasn't his finest hour. A decent start spoiled somewhat by a poor kick which was returned in kind and put his side under pressure. Needed help from Taute as Paul Perez beat him down the outside in the first half. Barely figured in the second half until his beautifully-taken score.

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Jaco Taute: 8

Your typical blood-and-thunder Taute display. Some big hits - the best of which resulted in Sweetnam's try. Excellent work on the ground.

Rory Scannell: 7

Similar to Sweetnam, will have better days. At times too tentative on the ball, but grew into proceedings in the second half.

Keith Earls: 7.5

Phenomenal in the air all day, and came close to doing serious damage - Tommy O'Donnell inadvertently denying him on one occasion.

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Tyler Bleyendaal: 7.5

Not as influential as might be typical due to the style of game which unfolded, but did his job from the tee and unfortunate to see a try correctly ruled out.

Duncan Williams: 8.5

You can stick this up there with his performance versus the Maori All Blacks as one of his finest performances in red. Murray was still missed, but the fact that his absence hardly warranted discussion is a testament to Williams' efforts. Kicked well, and unlucky not to score a first-half try after an excellent charge-down on Toulouse's goalline.

Forwards

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Dave Kilcoyne: 9

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A ferocious display with ball in hand - 10 carries in total. The man runs with seemingly no regard for his own physical safety, or that of others. Colossal in the tackle, also.

Niall Scannell: 7.5

An excellent 50th appearance for his province. His deceptive mobility makes him extremely effective around the park. Threw well in difficult conditions.

John Ryan: 9

Like Kilcoyne, and extraordinary display. Fantastic finish to open the scoring and consistently put in monstrous hits around the park. A deserved man of the match.

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Donnacha Ryan: 8

Tackled like a man who knew it might the last time he'd ever wear the red jersey. Bone-shuddering hit on Yacouba Camara in the 19th minute drew both cheers and winces from the baying Thomond crowd. An inexcusable loss to both Munster and Irish rugby.

Billy Holland: 7

Improved second half when he stood in for O'Mahony as captain, carrying more ball and taking more responsibility in the lineout.

Peter O’Mahony: 8.5

It would be borderline irresponsible not to bring this man to New Zealand. His ability in the oppositions' lineout alone should probably see him on the plane - his second of three steals was especially spectacular. Wiped a man out to pave the way for Stander's try. Injured his shoulder in the same incident and was withdrawn after 50 minutes.

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Tommy O’Donnell: 7

Over-eager in the breakdown on a couple of occasions. Not his finest display with ball in hand, but tackled extremely well.

CJ Stander: 8

Toulouse managed him well, consistently doubling up in the tackle to chop him both low and at (rugby) ball height. You cannot, however, deny the big man from point-blank range, and he came up trumps seven minutes into the second half.

Finishers Replacements

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Rhys Marshall: 7.5

An excellent option off the bench. Carried well and put in some colossal work at the breakdown in the final quarter.

James Cronin: 7

See Marshall above.

Stephen Archer: n/a

Dave O’Callaghan: 7

Offered a new dynamism on his introduction - his wildman approach to ball-carrying effective in a tight game.

Jack O’Donoghue: 6.5

Didn't have long enough to make significant impact, but solid defensive work helped keep Toulouse at bay.

Angus Lloyd: n/a

Francis Saili: n/a

Andrew Conway:7

Game had descended to a pack-fest by the time he was introduced, and so didn't get sufficient opportunity to put his pedal to the metal until the dying seconds, when he finished superbly.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Toulouse Awarded Try In Thomond Despite Blatant Forward Pass

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