Sports

Munster v Toulouse ends in incredible drama as penalty shootout decides winner

Munster have been knocked out of Europe on penalties, losing a thrilling quarter-final encounter against Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium.

The game was locked at 24-24 following the conclusion of 80 minutes, and extra time was not able to decide a winner, meaning the game went to a shootout.

In a changed format to the one that saw Martyn Williams’ miss prove crucial in the 2009 Heineken Cup semi-final, teams nominated three kickers to take six penalties from different points on the field.

Conor Murray and Antoine Dupont both nailed their first attempts from slap in front of the posts from the 22 metre line. Then, 15 metres in from the right-hand touchline on the 22, Ben Healy missed and Thomas Ramos hit, giving Toulouse the advantage. Joey Carbery and Romain Ntamack both nailed their efforts from the other side of the field and we moved back to the 10 metre line with the score 3-2 to the French side.

From there, Murray dragged his effort wide to the left and Dupont nailed his. Healy then missed for a second time from the right-hand side of the field, this time from the 10 metre line, meaning Toulouse went through to the semi-finals.

Alex Kendellen and Ntamack traded early tries in a cagey opening quarter before Toulouse winger Matthis Lebel crossed to put his side ahead. But the scores were level at 14-a-piece at the break after Keith Earls walked in a score out wide, with Carbery converting.

A Mike Haley try and conversion followed by a penalty from Carbery put Munster in the driver’s seat heading into the final 20 minutes but the defending champions came roaring back. Lebel went under the sticks for his second and Thomas Ramos penalty levelled the scores five minutes from time.

Young Healy had a kick to win it with the last play of the game from 56 metres but he yanked it wide to the left of the sticks and the game headed to extra time.

The teams could not be separated by 20 minutes of extra time – with both sides missing drop goals to win it – and, because they had both scored three tries, the game went on to be decided by penalties.

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