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Player Ratings As Munster's European Dream Ends At The Hands Of Racing

Player Ratings As Munster's European Dream Ends At The Hands Of Racing
By Maurice Brosnan Updated
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For the fifth time in 15 months, Munster took on Racing 92. After Leinster's impressive semi-final showing it was left to Johann van Graan's side to try and provide an all-Irish final next month in Bilbao.

Unfortunately, it just never happened for a Munster side that looked shell-shocked after 20 minutes. The level of inaccuracy was frightening. Whether it be their tackling, line-out or phase play, it inflicted every aspect of their game.

Munster responded well late on but it was too little too late. An outstanding Racing side deservedly progress and are the sole side left with the chance to halt the Leinster juggernaut. The finish gave a strong traveling fanbase something to cheer, the least that they deserved. The final score was Munster 27 Racing 22.

15. Andrew Conway - 6

Looked lively with ball in hand but was an afternoon living off scraps. A late consolation try came thanks to a perfect kick through from Zebo but the damage was long done by then.

14. Keith Earls - 6

Starved of possession for far too long for a winger of his ability. A committed kick-chaser all day but never really get a chance to compete in the air due to the kick being just that bit too long.

13. Sammy Arnold - 7

An extraordinary willingness to carry ball and very nearly got his reward before half-time but just held up on the line.

12. Rory Scannell - 7

Munster's centres never got the support necessary and were badly exposed today. Felix Jones will be infuriated by their defensive effort with the line consistently staggered and easily penetrated. Despite regularly being left with a mobile Clermont back-row boring down on them both Scannell and Arnold tackled admirably. Rory with the most tackles of any back.

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11. Alex Wootton - 5

Criminal error for the opening try as he went far too high on Thomas. An extraordinary four missed tackles in total. Replaced after 42 minutes, the decision to not start Simon Zebo looks like a mistake in hindsight.

10. Ian Keatley - 5

Bad mistake immediately after the try as a good turnover was squandered due to missed touch with a penalty. His early showing was an epitome of Munster's start later when a panicky drop-goal was blocked down but settled it with a penalty shortly afterwards. Replacement after 55 minutes by JJ Hanrahan.

9. Conor Murray - 7

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The missed tackle was glaring and his box-kick wayward. Had a quick penalty that should have led to a try just before half-time. Conceded a somewhat soft penalty straight away after the break which led to another three points for Racing. Could have landed a try after an hour but just stopped on the line. Really good break for Munster immediately after their try but a Zebo forward pass squandered the move. Strong tackling at the scrum late on when Nyanga looked to get free. It didn't go his way early on but he fought hard to rectify it.

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1. Dave Kilcoyne - 6

The only positive for Munster in the first half was their scrum. Entire front-row was replaced just after half-time.

2. Niall Scannell - 5

Unlucky early on as a clever line-out move was pulled back for a forward pass. Really struggled with his throwing after that, with numerous feeds overshooting Munster's jumpers. That went on to affect his game in the loose and the Dolphin club man only contributed one tackle before being replaced. Did his best to carry but had little gain.

3. Stephen Archer - 6 

A big effort in the scrum but missed his lift on a line-out early on. Was brought back on because John Ryan picked up a knock but game was over at that stage.

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4. Jean Kleyn - 7

At fault for the break that led to the second try, alongside Murray. It was of crucial importance that players like Thomas, Nakarawa and Nyanga were tackled low and for huge swaths of the game they weren't. However, along with Jack O'Donoghue led Munster's tackle count and only one missed tackle between the pair. The pack never fired today but at the very least, Kleyn was committed.

5. Billy Holland - 6

 

His former team and housemate, Donnacha Ryan, conspired to thwart the Munster line-out. The Munster pack did not function in Bordeaux.

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6. Peter O’Mahony (captain) - 6 

Up against a frighteningly quick back-row, O'Mahony will be unhappy with his first-half showing. Did his best to manage the referee but problems elsewhere meant it had little benefit. His tackle count does not make for good reading; two made, two missed.

7. Jack O’Donoghue - 6

9 carries for 17 metres made. On a bitterly disappointing day, one of the highlights for Munster will be the ability within their youth ranks. The likes of O'Donoghue, Arnold and Calvin Nash will all be fine players in time.

8. CJ Stander - 7 

A typical performance both in his carrying and work rate. Even in the 79th minute, offered himself as the first up carrier trying to pry open a superb Racing defence.

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Replacements - 7

After just 42 minutes Munster introduced Simon Zebo for Wootton, Cronin for Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall for Niall Scannell and John Ryan for Archer. Robin Copeland was brilliant when he came on, Zebo scored a try and Hanrahan introduced some much-needed pace into a stagnant offensive unit.

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