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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 19 April, 2014

Bonus point win against Edinburgh would secure home quarter-final for Munster

Toulouse’s minor slip-up in Italy means Rob Penney’s men can still claim a home quarter-final.

Munster head coach Rob Penney.
Munster head coach Rob Penney.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

A BONUS POINT win for Munster tomorrow against Edinburgh would ensure they get a home draw for April’s Heineken Cup quarter finals, after Toulouse were restricted to a 16-6 victory by Zebre this afternoon.

The French side had high hopes of scoring four tries in Parma, but managed only one through scrum-half Sébastien Bézy. Despite a majority of possession and territory, the Top 14 side had to wait until the 38th minute for that score, while Zebre’s spirited defence denied them to chance to add more five-pointers in the second period.

Out-half Jean-Marc Doussain converted Bézy’s effort and added two penalties, while Luciano Orquera notched six points from the tee for the home side. The result means Toulouse have confirmed top spot in Pool 3, but their inability to secure a bonus point results in them having to depend on other results to ensure a home quarter-final.

With Guy Novès’ men ending the pool stages on 23 points, and Munster currently on 18, a bonus point win for the southern province against Edinburgh would see them claim a home quarter-final. The deciding factor to split the sides would be the number of tries they have scored in the pool stages. Toulouse have racked up 16, while Munster are currently on 13.

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That means a bonus-point success at home to Edinburgh would guarantee Munster a home draw in the first round of the knock-out stages. That situation seemed unlikely when Rob Penney’s team lost at Murrayfield in their opening fixture of this season’s Heineken Cup campaign.

Edinburgh will certainly not be accommodating tomorrow afternoon, but at least Munster are aware of what they need to secure a home quarter-final.

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