Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Munster come up short

Denis Hurley scored Munster's solitary try

Munster's brave bid to derail Clermont Auvergne's march to their first Heineken Cup title fell short in a cagey 16-10 semi-final defeat in Montpellier.

Morgan Parra converted Napolioni Nalaga's ninth-minute try and landed three penalties as the much-fancied French club booked their place in the Dublin decider on Saturday, May 18.

Stade de la Mosson witnessed a stunning show of colour and noise from both sets of fans, with Clermont displaying a mental toughness late on that they have lacked in previous seasons.

They banished the blues of Bordeaux from 12 months ago when they fell at the semi-final hurdle to Leinster, deservedly pulling through against a defiant Munster side.

Vern Cotter's men gave glimpses of their enviable power and pace in the opening half, shooting into a 13-3 interval lead in the partisan atmosphere.

Munster dug deep to get back within striking distance when a converted try from replacement Denis Hurley cancelled out Parra's third penalty.

That set up a tense climax during which Parra knocked a penalty attempt wide and although Casey Laulala went close to a second try for the Irish province, Clermont held on to seal their maiden final appearance.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre