The Champions Cup third round started on Friday night with two matches. Munster went to France to face Castres and Harlequins travelled to play Cardiff. Both matches was close and the game was only decided in the last few minutes of both games.
At the end it was a late try from Coombes that secure a win for Munster and Marcus Smith was again the hero for Quins against Cardiff.
Here is the Log standings for Pool B after the two matches
It was a late try from Gavin Goombes that gave Munster a win to secure their place in teh last 16 on Friday night. The match was a closely fought contest. At the end 16-13 was enough for the Irish club.
Castres was leading for most of the match with a try by Larregain and the boot of Botica. Munster looked good at times in the first half but just could not put enough phases together to get over the line and only manage a penalty in that first half.
They made plenty of handling errors which did not help them when they were on attack. Both sides defence was scrappy at times but effective.
It looked like the home side was good for the win with a winning penalty five minutes from the end of the game but Munster had one more attach in them as Coombes reacted quickly to some space of teh ruck to get over the line for the crucial try.
It is always difficult to loose in the last minutes of the game but credit must go to Munster who never gave up in teh contest although they were not at their best.
Castres: Tries – Larregain Conversions – Botica Penalties Botica(2)
Munster: Tries – Coombes Conversions – Crowley Penalties Crowley(3)
It was again the magic of Marcus Smith that secure a dramatic win for Harlequins against Cardiff on Friday night. Cardiff looked good throughout the match putting Quins under plenty of pressure but a late try and penalty from Smith broke the Cardiffs fans hearts.
It was again a massive second half comeback from Quins after they were down 33-19 at some stage in the second half but Quins did what they had done so many times and came back to steal it at the end.
Quins dominated the start of the match which saw Lynagh going over for the first try of the match from a cross-kick by Smith. That gave Quins an early 7-0 lead.
The home side took their changes that came their way and it was Ratti that went over for their second try to take the lead 14-7. Quins made just too many handling errors and at some stages their defence was poor as Cardiff took control of the match.
The game turned to Quins again after Dmitri Arhip was shown a yellow card for collapsing the scrum. That gave Quins the oppertunity to reduce the lead just before halftime with a try by Green, again from a cross-kick by Smith. That send the teams into the break with Cardiff leading 14-12.
Quins started the second half well and though they scored again only to be called back for an offside way back in their own half. Quins did get their third try moments later when Northmore got over and again it was some brilliant work in the leadup by Smith to get the ball out wide.
That gave Quins the lead back again and it look like they will pull away but Cardiff had other plans.
Back to fifteen men for Cardiff, Harlequins Dombrandt was shown a yellow card for a professional foul on his own line. Cardiff took full advantage of the extra man and it was Lewis that went over for the home side. Evans converted to give the home side the lead again.
Cardiff scored another minutes later with Lane second try when he got his hands on a kick by Amos. Although it looked like he was infront of the kick the TMO decided he was fine and the try was awarded.
There was another by Domachowski which looked like Cardiff had done enough to secure a win against Quins but the visitors came back yet again first wiyh Care managing to get through some tight defence of the home side. That gave Quins the believe with minutes to go that they can manage another dramatic comeback.
Cardiff was shown another yellow card which did not help their cause. It was then the magic of Smith first with a brilliant try when he cut through the Cardiff defence and then with not time left on the clock was awarded a penalty which he had no problem kicking over for the win.
Cardiff will wonder how they loss this one but at the end it was due to discipline and poor game management.
Cardiff: Tries – Lane(2), Ratti, Lewis, Domachowski Conversions – Evans(4)
Harlequins: Tries – Lynagh, Green, Northmore, Care, Smith Conversions – Smith(4) Penalties – Smith