As the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 edges ever closer, we detail each side’s path to the knockout stage, selecting key moments, players and stats.
We continue our delve into the 16 teams with a look at Munster Rugby…
Path to the Round of 16
Munster stormed through the group stage, winning all four of their Pool B games to finish third, a point behind the top two on account of one less try bonus point.
After cruising to a 35-14 success at Wasps in their opener, they battled to a 19-13 home win over Castres Olympique in Round 2.
The return against the TOP 14 club was an even tougher affair, with Munster squeezing home 16-13 at Stade Pierre Fabre, before they eased to another comfortable victory against Wasps, this time via a 45-7 margin at Thomond Park, in their pool finale.
Gavin Coombes’ try in the dying minutes at Castres Olympique in Round 3, which sealed Munster’s qualification for the Round of 16.
Castres had looked set for their first win in Pool B, until the No.8 planted down emphatically from close range.
Flanker Peter O’Mahony has been immense so far in the Heineken Champions Cup this season, topping the tables for line-out wins and turnovers.
The Irish international has claimed 31 line-outs, 10 more than anyone else, and that figures has included six steals, the best by four. He has also executed nine turnovers.
4️⃣/4️⃣ for the Irish provinces in @URCOfficial action on the weekend 🔥
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 21, 2022
- Munster occupy the top two places in the turnover charts via O’Mahony (9) and lock Tadhg Beirne, who has made seven.
- Scrum-half Ben Healy has made only two Heineken Champions Cup appearances this season, but he is still in the top 10 points-scorers with 25 and joint third in offloads with six.
- Centre Damian de Allende has also featured just twice in the competition this term, but again has made a big impact, beating 12 defenders to lie joint eighth in the list.
- Ever-present wing Andrew Conway is in the top five for line breaks with five.
Round of 16 opponents
Munster visit Exeter Chiefs on April 9 before hosting the 2020 champions a week later at Thomond Park. They last met in the pool stage in 2018-19, with the first match ending in a 10-10 draw at Sandy Park, before Munster edged home 9-7 in the home tie.