Munster wrapped up top spot in Pool 2 of the Champions Cup after they edged Exeter 9-7 at Thomond Park, dumping the Chiefs out of Europe.

One try was scored in a gritty contest and it went the way of Exeter back-row Don Armand, but it was in a losing cause for Rob Baxter’s side.

They may well kick themselves at not taking points on offer off the tee in Limerick with Munster making no such error as they sealed victory.

Joey Carbery claimed all his side’s points via three penalties as they finish on the summit, but they are set to be on the road in the quarters. The only way Munster can seal a home tie is if Leinster and Toulouse suffer shock results against Wasps and Bath respectively on Sunday.

Wherever Munster go they will be feared in the knockout stage and this will be a record 18th time they have progressed out of the pools.

Johann van Graan’s men were trailing 7-6 at the half-time break as Exeter started well, with Armand’s score from close range classic Chiefs. However, as mentioned, they did snub kickable points as they instead went for maximum returns in their quest to win by more than seven.

After the break it backfired as in an absorbing game that was full of big collisions, Exeter could not extend their buffer as time ticked on.

Munster made no such mistake and when Carbery landed a long-range kick in the 73rd minute, they went in front and held on for victory.

In the other pool fixture, Castres came from behind to edge Gloucester 24-22 at Stade Pierre Fabre thanks to Maama Vaipulu’s late score. Castres’ other crossings came via Florian Vialelle (2) and Armand Batlle while Henry Trinder, Ben Vellacott and Owen Williams responded.

Castres finish in third spot in Pool 2 on 14 points, level with second-placed Exeter Chiefs, while Gloucester are the basement side on nine.

The post Munster knock out Exeter, Castres pip Gloucester appeared first on Planet Rugby.


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