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Sunday, 28 January, 2001, 16:36 GMT
Munster storm into semi-finals
Ronan O'Gara
Ronan O'Gara inspired Munster to an impressive win
Munster 38-29 Biarritz

Three Anthony Foley tries inspired Munster to a famous victory over shell-shocked Biarritz at Thomond Park.

The Irish province overcame a nervous start to eventually overwhelm the French side.

After being 15-11 down at the end of the first quarter, two Ronan O'Gara penalties gave Munster a two point advantage at the interval.

But with the wind in the second half, the home team, cheered on by a capacity 13,500 crowd, completely took after the interval.

A O'Gara penalty gave Munster an early lead but Biarritz replied emphatically with Christophe Mellier crossing the line in the eighth minute after a superb Simon Legg break.

Anthony Foley
Anthony Foley scored three vital tries

Foley grabbed the first of his tries in the 11th minute to put Munster ahead again at 8-7 but the lead was shortlived with Legg splitting the home defence to cross the line after a superb Botica pass.

The remaining first half scores came from the respective boots of O'Gara and former New Zealand star Botica.

O'Gara's three successful efforts left his side 17-15 ahead at the break.

Foley's 47th minute try was probably the crucial moment of the match.

Man of the match Alan Quinlan's superb long pass from the base of a ruck set up the score with Mick Galwey delivering on to a charging Foley.

O'Gara's brilliant conversion from the right touchline extended Munster's lead to 24-15.

David Wallace
David Wallace did his Ireland prospects no harm

After a further O'Gara penalty, Foley grabbed his third try of the game in the 64th minute to extend Munster's advantage to 17 points.

A Bonnet try added to by Botica's conversion gave Biarritz hope with 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

O'Gara's penalty extended the home advantage to 35-22 but Munster's nerves were strained once again when Mellier scored his second try of the game in the 78th minute.

Botica's conversion meant there was only six points between the teams but O'Gara's huge penalty from half-way in injury-time made the game safe.

Scorers -
: Tries: Foley (3): Pens: O'Gara (7):Cons: O'Gara (1).

Biarritz: Tries: Milheres (2), Bonnet, Legg: Cons (3): Botica. Pens: Botica


Munster: Crotty, Kelly, Mullins, Holland, Horgan, O'Gara, Stringer, Clohessy, Sheahan, Hayes, Galwey, Langford, Quinlan, Foley, Wallace.

Biarritz: Bonetti, Bernat-Salles, Bidabe, Couttet, Legg, Botica, Bonnet, Menieu, Gonzalez, Avril, Versailles, Roumat, Betsen, Nauroy, Milheres.
Replacements: Thomas Levrement, Mark Levrement.

Att: 13,500

Referee: E Morrison (Eng).

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