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Castres hoping to end hurt against Irish opposition

Thursday 13th December 2018

3:17 pm (GMT)

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Conor Murray made his Heineken Champions Cup return last week against Castres

Top 14 winners Castres Olympique will be desperate to end a run of six home matches without victory against Irish opposition in the European Cup when they host Munster Rugby on Saturday. The Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2 clash will be available to watch on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS from 17:30 GMT.

  • Castres have won just three times in 15 matches against Munster, and have now gone eight without success after last weekend’s defeat in Limerick.
  • The French side’s record home defeat came at the hands of Munster who beat them 46-9 back in 2005.
  • Munster have lost just one of their last six pool stage games away from home. However, that defeat did come in France against their 2018 conquerors Racing 92.
  • Munster are looking to win both back-to-back fixtures in consecutive seasons for the first time since they managed the feat across three seasons between 2005/06 and 2007/08.

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Castres battle to slender success over Munster

Saturday 15th December 2018

8:02 pm (GMT)

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Castres Olympique blew Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2 wide open after a 13-12 victory over Munster Rugby at Stade Pierre Fabre on Saturday night.

The visitors made a great start as Castres were penalised at the breakdown. Joey Carbery opted for the posts instead of the corner and made no mistake.

Scott Spedding was then caught a fraction late and Wayne Barnes correctly awarded a home penalty. From that, Benjamin Urdapilleta nailed the penalty kick in tricky conditions, which seemed to be the order of Heineken Champions Cup Round 4.

Two minutes after missing a kickable penalty, Joey Carbery had another opportunity from close range and this one split the uprights. Like the first meeting, the opening 20 minutes was a little stop-start with errors throughout due to the driving rain and wind.

Castres then took the lead for the first time – a lead they would keep for the remainder of the match. It took TMO to award the try after the Castres forwards powered towards the line, with Kevin Firmin diving over and Urdapilleta converting.

Munster piled on the pressure before half time that resulted in a deliberate knock on from Rory Kockott who spent the first nine minutes of the second half in the sin bin.

In the second half, Conor Murray tried an ambitious flick between two Castres men but it was deflected clear. Wayne Barnes was playing penalty advantage, though, and Carbery slotted the simple penalty between the sticks.

Three minutes later, Munster collapsed the driving maul, with Niall Scannell heading for the sin bin as a result. Urdapilleta opted for three points instead of a kick to the corner and made no mistake.

Carbery hit back yet again with another penalty kick but it was his next effort from the kicking tee that was most important.

With the match poised at 13-12, Andrew Conway collected the ball out wide, beating his man before flicking the ball over the top of the Castres line.

But when collecting his own kick, he just knocked on before touching down. However, Marc-Antoine Rallier – who was given a yellow card – was penalised for a tackle off the ball on Peter O’Mahony and Munster had another chance to take the lead.

Carbery stepped up but could only hook his attempt wide in what was the last scoring opportunity for the Irish province.

Munster travel to face Gloucester Rugby in Round 5, while Castres Olympique will take on Exeter Chiefs.

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