Rugby

Three Peter O'Mahony Moments Summed Up Stunning Toulouse Performance

Three Peter O'Mahony Moments Summed Up Stunning Toulouse Performance

It was always going to require some moments of inspiration from Munster if they were to upend the European champions this afternoon. Toulouse are an incredible side, meaning the Irish side would have to be at the very top of their game if they were to advance to the semi-finals.

They would not be found wanting, but a defeat in the cruelest of circumstances, the dreaded place kicking competition, meant they would come up just short in Dublin 4.

While Thomond Park was unavailable for this fixture, the travelling Munster support did not struggle to make the Aviva Stadium feel like home for the afternoon. There was an incredible sea of red at Lansdowne Road, producing a cracking atmosphere.

It was an incredibly tight game, although Toulouse did threaten to open up a bit of a gap between the sides at one point.

They responded to Munster's early try with a pair of their own, including this wonderful set-piece.

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They were well in control at this point, although Munster would soon start to turn the tide of momentum in the game.

That was thanks in no small part to Peter O'Mahony who produced this incredible line-out steal just after the half hour mark as the Irish province began to reassert themselves on proceedings.

Incredible stuff.

They would be level at the interval, with Joey Carbery knocking over a difficult conversion after an incredible team try. Keep an eye out for the hands of Josh Wycherley.

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Another try just after the break put them in the driving seat.

It was certainly a real captain's performance from O'Mahony. Having stole the ball from a ruck to stop what look like a very dangerous Toulouse attack in the opening moments, that was only the start of an incredible afternoon's work.

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The Cork man was an absolute menace at the breakdown, never giving anything easy to the French side. He was also as dependable as ever in the line-out, something that proved to be key as Munster attempted to hang onto the ball.

He was the one to ensure that Antoine Dupont was not given the space to operate on the pitch, immediately smothering the scrum-half at every opportunity. One moment in the second half summed up his efforts.

His fourth turnover of the match was arguably the best of the lot. He dug into the Toulouse ruck right on the Munster line, getting the turnover to stop what looked like a certain try.

Unforunately, he would injure himself in the process and was forced off the pitch in the 64th minute. Despite missing the closing stages, this was perhaps a career-defining performance from O'Mahony.

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Here's what commentator and former Lions captain Sam Warburton had to say about his showing on the day:

I think he has played the best rugby of his career.

This is arguably the best I've ever seen him.

Quite the compliment.

He wasn't the only one to be massively impressed with what the 32-year old did today.

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A world class display from a remarkable player.

It was no coincidence that Toulouse turned the tide of the game after he came off. Matthis Lebel scored a try just a few moments later to get them them back within touching distance. A penalty with four minutes to go meant the sides were level.

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To extra-time we went.

The two extra periods were incredibly tense, with few opportunities for either side. The place kicking competition was always calling.

Unfortunately, it would be Toulouse who would come out on top in that one. While they nailed each of their four shots at goal, misses from Ben Healy (x2) and Conor Murray meant Munster were out.

Despite the loss, this was certainly a titanic effort from Munster and their captain.

SEE ALSO: 'We Need Depth Because We Were Matching England'

eimear considine Irish rugby

Gary Connaughton

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