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Blues 12 Munster 22

10th December 2006

A packed Arms Park welcomed the vocal Munster crowd for the crucial Heineken Cup clash and Ben Blair got the side off to a great start with a 50m penalty kick.

The Blues started sharply with Mike Phillips breaking from a base of a ruck and sprinted 50 yards, he bounced off the defenders but was eventually held just short of the try-line. The home side couldn’t get quick ball away but were awarded a penalty that Blair once again converted.

Munster were dealt a blow when Pucciarello was sent to the sin bin for kneeing Scott Morgan in the back. However it was Munster who got the next score with a penalty kick by Ronan O’Gara. A man and ball tackle by Martyn Williams resulted in the Blues flanker being harshly awarded a yellow card and sent to the bin for ten minutes just as Pucciarello returned. The mighty prop was soon in the thick of it and came to within inches of scoring a try in the corner. The Blues did excellently spoiling the Irish scrum and managed to clear to the Munster half.

The Heineken Champions worked their way down to the Blues twenty two and from a lineout they drove for the line and using their numerical advantage eventually Denis Leamy touched down for the first try of the game, with O’Gara converting.

Minutes later excellent chasing from Jamie Robinson saw him take the man and ball and the Blues were awarded a scrum in the Munster twenty two. They failed to capitalise on the territory and were eventually driven back and the last word of the half saw Ronan O’Gara strike a long range penalty to extend the Munster lead


With the rain lashing down the early stages of the second half saw a number of handling errors with a knock on by Mafi for Munster before Martyn Williams knocked on for the Blues from the resulting scrum. Eventually the Blues won the kicking battle and worked their way in to the Munster twenty two. They worked the ball out wide through Stcherbina and a battle in the line-outs eventually saw the Blues drive further forward. They were eventually awarded a penalty that Blair stepped up to convert.

Mike Phillips took a quick penalty and Munster failed to retreat 10yards and Blair once again stepped up again to convert and bring the home side to within one point of Munster.

There were one or two errors creeping in to the Munster game but they got a break when Xavier Rush was deemed to be offside and O’Gara stepped up and extended the visitors lead. It was a hard fought contest and evenly balanced but Ben Blair managed to show flashes o brilliance in counter attack in difficult conditions.

Munster were also showing skills in midfield and were awarded penalty for a late tackle and O’Gara was once again accurate with the boot to extend the lead to seven points. The Irishmen showed great aggression at the breakdown and turned over the Cardiff Blues. With less than five minutes left the game looked like it was slipping away from the Blues and O’Gara sealed the victory when he kicked another penalty – putting Munster 10 points ahead.