Munster crash out of the Champions Cup in South Africa

Cell C Sharks had 33 second-half points to reach the quarter-finals
Munster crash out of the Champions Cup in South Africa

Curwin Bosch of the Cell C Sharks makes a break. Picture: INPHO/Steve Haag Sports

Cell C Sharks 50 Munster 35 

MUNSTER had no response to a Sharks third-quarter power surge in their last-16 Heineken Champions Cup clash at Durban on Saturday afternoon, as they bowed out of the competition in disappointing fashion.

The Sharks started the game at 100mph scoring in the 4th minute with a penalty from out-half Curwin Bosch after Munster had been penalised at a lineout.

Munster hit back immediately with a scintillating try from Shane Daly in the 6th minute. Jack Crowley, Antoine Frisch and Gavin Coombes spun it left to find Daly in acres of space out wide and the winger had the gas and step to score.

The Sharks scored in the 17th minute after some excellent elusive running from Werner Kok and Makazola Mapimpi, with the latter putting scrum half Jaden Hendrikse away to score, and they crossed again in the 25th when giant lock Eben Etzebeth crashed over from close range.

This game was turning into a right arm wrestle with Munster getting back in touch with Dave Kilcoyne burrowing over from a yard out in the 33rd minute, as Munster went in trailing 17-14 at halftime.

Antoine Frisch of Munster carries into the tackle. Picture: INPHO/Steve Haag Sports
Antoine Frisch of Munster carries into the tackle. Picture: INPHO/Steve Haag Sports

The first score of the second half was always going to be vital, but when referee Wayne Barnes blew three quick penalties against Munster it gave the Sharks a chance to march down the touchline, with hooker Bongi Mbonambi finishing the move off a maul in the 45th minute, and three minutes later Mbonambi crossed again, as Munster just could not handle the power of the Sharks maul.

The Munster challenge had collapsed now, and they gifted Kok and Bosch simple walk-in tries in the 54th and 57th minutes.

Diarmuid Barron scored a maul try in the 61st minute to stop the rot, after conceding 26 points in the horrific third quarter, although Mapimpi scored a simple intercept try soon after.

Mike Haley scored a superb individual try in the 69th minute to illustrate that the Munster attack actually fired on the day, and Fineen Wycherley crossed in the 78th minute for a fifth try, but their discipline and loose play had really left them down.

Scorers for Sharks: C Bosch (1 try, 1 pen, 6 cons), B Mbonambi (2 tries), J Hendrikse, E Etzebeth, W Kok, M Mapimpi (1 try each).

Munster: J Crowley (5 cons), S Daly, D Kilcoyne, D Barron, M Haley, F Wycherley (1 try each).

SHARKS: B Chamberlain, W Kok, L Am, R Janse van Rensburg, M Mapimpi, C Bosch, J Hendrikse, O Nché, B Mbonambi, T du Toit, E Etzebeth, G Grobler, S Kolisi (c), V Tshituka, S Notshe.

Subs: G Williams for J Hendrikse (17), E van Heerden for E Etzebeth (40), P Buthelezi for E van Heerden (48), K van Vuuren, N Mchunu and C Sadie for O Nché, B Mbonambi and T du Toit (60), B Tapuai for R van Rensberg (62), T Abrahams for B Chamberlain (69).

MUNSTER: M Haley; C Nash, A Frisch, M Fekitoa, S Daly; J Crowley, C Casey; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, R Salanoa; J Kleyn, RG Snyman; P O'Mahony (C), J Hodnett, G Coombes.

Subs: S Archer for R Salanoa (19), F Wycherley and C Murray for RG Snyman and C Casey (48), D Barron for N Scannell (49), J O’Donoghue and A Kendellen for P O’Mahony and G Coombes (56), J Wycherley for D Kilcoyne (60), J Carbery for A Frisch (68).

Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

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