Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

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Wales vs England 1999

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Munster edge out Saracens - highlights and interviews

Munster held off a monumental effort from outsiders Saracens to reach their fourth Heineken Cup final with a nail-biting victory at Coventry's Ricoh Arena.

Saracens, in the knockout stages for the first time, had an early lead and, after trailing 15-7 at halftime, twice closed to within two points of the Irish side appearing in their seventh semi-final in nine years.

Munster used all of their big match knowhow to cling on to their half-time lead and secure the win at 18-16.

After struggling for footage initially, I've finally found this newsreport from RTE, which features highlights, thoughts, and post match interviews from the semi final.

4:41 mins



  • i sincerly hope munster and toulose will set up a classic mererable game in the final , i hope they play running entertaining rugby , with the skill that both teams have , they are capable of it , but it can still be a close contest , they have an oppertunaty to possably create some history and have a final to remember , i hope it won't be a win at all costs kickathon like what happened in the world cup fianls, let those games be a lesson too us never too do that too a sensational event like the world cup and ruin the spectacle for fans and players alike !

    By Anonymous nick, at April 29, 2008 2:26 pm  

  • Now can someone tell me did Irish and Saracens choose to play home games away from their normal homes? Or were the locations of these chosen before hand?

    I'd suspect that given the chance again the sides may have chosen to play at their actual "home" and set their sights on the final rather than taking the pay day of filling a bigger stadium with travelling fans.

    By Anonymous hackneygriffin, at April 29, 2008 3:05 pm  

  • R.I.P. richard hill the greatest player to ever pull on an england shirt.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 29, 2008 5:03 pm  

  • I was lucky enough to be at the last final in 2006 :-D and also lucky enough to be heading off to this one too! Cant wait, gonna be an amazing match.
    As regards "hackneygriffin"'s question, in the semi's the matches have 2 be played in the home teams country, but NOT in their home ground. So they had 2 play them in some other stadium in England

    By Anonymous thefullback, at April 29, 2008 6:29 pm  

  • didnt show it in the highlights there but every time when glen jackson was taking a penalty the saracens supporters held out their hands and started to wobble their fingers? whats that all about! an answer from a saracens supporter would be great....

    By Anonymous BD, at April 29, 2008 9:27 pm  

  • @hackneygriffen
    No, Irish and Saracens didn't choose to play the games away from their normal grounds. The HC rules stipulate that the 'home' team in the semis will play at a neutral ground in their home country. Interestingly, this had (until Irish had their say) raised the prospect of Perpingan playing Toulouse in *Spain*, as the closest large neutral ground may have been in Real Sociedad's stadium.

    Saracens played their hearts out, and Munster gifted them chances in the first half. I've rarely seen Saracens with that much commitment in the ruck. They'll be kicking themselves for not converting those chances into points.

    As for the final let's hope it's as good as their previous encounters. And as an honest, Scottish London Wasps fan with an Irish girlfriend, I have to say: Come on Munster!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 29, 2008 11:13 pm  

  • Is that true ? Leinster played their home semi in 2006 at Landsdowne road.

    I thought it was a financial thing that they went with stadiums with bigger capacities

    By Anonymous third centre, at April 29, 2008 11:31 pm  

  • @third centre: Now that you mention it, that did happen didn't it? And even if Munster were classed the home side, you could hardly call Lansdowne a 'neutral' venue in that case.

    When I said it was the HC rules, that was the impression I got from an article I read a few weeks back, with an interview of Nathan Hines talking about the pending Perpignan-London Irish match, and the permutations for the semi-finals.

    I've just gone to the ERC website and found that I was talking through my (hat) (http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/31_264.php). The rules state this:
    1(b) Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final
    (i) the Semi-Finals will be played at a venue designated by ERC, with the opponents
    in each match determined by a draw conducted by ERC. The Final will be played
    at a venue designated by ERC.

    Explains why both matches weren't in Twickenham (which is what Sarries would have done to maximize revenue one would think).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 29, 2008 11:50 pm  

  • @sarcas
    Perpignan hope is to play a QF or a SF in Catalunya, because they are catalans too.
    The Camp Nou or the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys are the venues.
    Catalunya no es Espanya.
    Sempre Endavant!!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Catal√†, at April 30, 2008 12:06 am  

  • Reg: Leinster & Munster playing the 06 semi in Lansdowne.

    Leinster's home ground is Donnybrook in Dublin. So technically it was a neutral venue. I'm sure I saw at lest two blue jerseys there that day.

    Now, back to Cardiff...

    By Blogger DJ Chewie, at April 30, 2008 12:52 am  

  • leinster played all their HC games that season at Landsdowne. It was awful how clubs in carlow, Killkenny and offaly sold their tickets to munster fans or else went and supported munster. There was uproar in loads of dublin clubs but the IRFU didn't want to know about it.

    Disgraceful that people who had been supporting Leinster for over thirty years couldn't get tickets

    By Anonymous third centre, at April 30, 2008 3:28 pm  

  • Getting back to the match in question, one of the most impressive things about this Munster side is that 17 of the matchday 22 on Sunday were born and raised in Munster. I doubt you could find many similar statistics at an equvalent level of rugby.

    By Anonymous Tanora, at May 01, 2008 1:20 pm  

  • Pucciarello, Howlett, Dowling, Mafi, Tipoki, O'Gara, Flannery were all born and raised outside Munster. The rest are from there. Thats some achievement !

    By Anonymous Third Centre, at May 01, 2008 3:46 pm  

  • OK, ya, I forgot O'Gara was born to Cork parents in Houston, Texas or somewhere similar but moved to Cork (Munster) at a very young age and grew up here. I'll back down on Flannery though, I thought he was a Limerick man but I've just read that he was born in Galway (Connacht) but still that's just a hop, skip and a jump from Munster.

    By Anonymous tanora, at May 01, 2008 9:34 pm  

  • Jerry Flannery, Tony Buckley, Eoin Reddan, Bernard Jackman.........all came from Connacht :)!

    By Anonymous bD, at May 04, 2008 8:58 pm  

  • O'Gara was born in San Deigo CA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 03, 2008 6:11 pm  

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