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2017 semi-finalists Munster travel to Stade Pierre Fabre to face Castres Olympique in the first of four Champions Cup matches on Sunday, live on Sky Sports. The Irish side have nine wins from 12 against Castres, and will look to add another win in Southern France this weekend.
· This will be the 13th meeting between Castres and Munster in the European Cup, the most played fixture in the competition’s history (currently level with Edinburgh Rugby v Toulouse on 12).
· Munster have won nine of their previous 12 games against Castres, only two sides have beaten another team as often in the Champions Cup – Leicester Tigers (W10 v Benetton) and Toulouse (W10 v Edinburgh).
· Castres are without a win in their last 10 games against Irish opposition (D1, L9), although they picked up a draw in their most recent such encounter against Leinster last season.
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Munster were relieved to leave the Stade Pierre Fabre with two points after surviving several late scares in their draw in the sunshine at Castres Olympique.
- Deep into injury time with scores level and Munster desperately defending their own line, Castres were denied what they felt was a penalty at the breakdown by the TMO.
- Seconds later, with the whistle in the referee's mouth, Benjamin Urdapilleta sliced a drop goal attempt well wide from kickable range.
- Conor Murray was sin-binned after just four minutes and while he was off the field, Robert Ebersohn ran in for a try after a fabulous interception.
- No sooner had Irish international wing Simon Zebo levelled for Munster than Julien Dumora's try re-established the French side's lead on 32 minutes.
- Dave Kilcoyne scored early in the second half after some quick thinking from a penalty by Conor Murray, but Urdapilleta's penalty soon afterwards proved the last addition to the scoreboard in what was a grind of a second half.
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