European Champions Cup: Munster 19-31 Leicester

Ben Youngs celebrates
Ben Youngs scored while his team were down to 14 men
European Champions Cup Rugby
Munster 19 (6)
Tries: Cronin, Sherry Pens: Keatley 3
Leicester 31 (18)
Tries: Goneva, Fitzgerald, B Youngs Cons: Williams 2 Pens: Williams 2, Bell 2

Leicester maintained their 100% start to their European Champions Cup campaign with victory at Munster.

Niki Goneva's smart finish in the corner and Mike Fitzgerald's try after a Munster line-out error gave the English side a half-time lead.

Munster looked set to launch a comeback as James Cronin touched down.

But the Tigers scored through Ben Youngs, and even though Mike Sherry replied, the Irish province suffered a rare home defeat in the competition.

It is only the fifth time in 67 games that Munster have failed to win a home match in Europe's elite cup competition - and two of those have been defeats by Leicester.

Munster are nine points adrift of Richard Cockerill's Pool Four leaders - although they have played one fewer fixture.

Memorable night for Tigers amid Munster errors

Munster v Leicester
Two of Leicester's three tries were helped by Munster mistakes

It was a superb victory for the Tigers, who were clinical in the Munster half after having withstood waves of home pressure.

Munster did not struggle for possession in the opposition 22, but their forward pack were outmuscled by Leicester's, with England hooker Tom Youngs and countryman Ed Slater leading the resistance, while Locky McCaffrey dominated at the breakdown.

However, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, with his squad for the Six Nations in February to consider, would have been pleased by the performance of CJ Stander.

Match stats
5Turnovers won6

The South Africa-born number eight is now qualified to play for Ireland through residency, and the 25-year-old looked confident with the ball in hand, carrying into the Tigers defence.

But the hosts were undone by two key errors either side of half-time, as Niall Scannell's overthrow from a line-out gave Fitzgerald a simple finish, before Ben Youngs turned over possession on the Munster 22 before picking his way through a bemused defence.

It was a try scored while the Tigers were down to 14 men, with Marcos Ayerza in the sin bin, and was a blow Anthony Foley's side could not recover from.


Munster: Conway; Earls, Saili, Hurley, Zebo; Keatley, Murray; Cronin, N. Scannell, Botha; Foley, D. Ryan; Copeland, D. O'Callaghan, Stander.

Replacements: Gonzalez Amorosino for Hurley (63), R. Scannell for Keatley (73), O'Leary for Murray (69), Kilcoyne for Cronin (54), Sherry for N. Scannell (50), J. Ryan for Botha (39), Chisholm for Foley (54), O'Donoghue for D. O'Callaghan (71).

Leicester: Veainu; Thompstone, Smith, Bai, Goneva; O. Williams, B. Youngs; Ayerza, T. Youngs, Cole; Kitchener, Fitzgerald; Milne, O'Connor, McCaffrey.

Replacements: Camacho for Thompstone (79), Bell for O. Williams (58), Harrison for B. Youngs (67), Aguero for Ayerza (75), H. Thacker for T. Youngs (77), Balmain for Cole (75), Barrow for Fitzgerald (71).

Not Used: Pearce.

Sin bin: Ayerza (44).

Attendance: 12,000

Referee: Romain Poite (France).

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