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Saturday, 6 October, 2001, 19:58 GMT 20:58 UK
Munster see off Harlequins
Ronan O'Gara (right)
O'Gara guides Munster to victory with 16-point haul
Harlequins 8-24 Munster

Ireland fly-half Ronan O'Gara once again stole the show for Munster on Saturday evening.

He notched up 16 points in front of a capacity crowd at The Stoop to sweep Munser to the top of Pool Four.

Harlequins' director of rugby John Kingston is refusing to be downbeat despite his side's defeat.

Kingston, who used to coach Connacht side Galwegians, insists Harlequins will learn from their mistakes to become a better side.


But we have learned a lot of lessons from this game and as I always say you have got to draw on these experiences
John KingstonName Here

"At the end of the day we saw one streetwise side and one inexperienced side," said Kingston, whose team next take on French side Castres.

"It is a sad fact that we did not win. The team did not concentrate for the 80 minutes and for some reason we panicked.

"But we have learned a lot of lessons from this game and as I always say you have got to draw on these experiences to become a more battled, hardened side.

"Munster have got all the credentials necessary to go all the way. They are the Leicester's of Ireland.

"What we saw on Saturday was a typical Munster performance on the park.

"Sometimes they can lose their way like they did in the first 20 minutes, but then they will work hard, grind out the result and come out smelling of roses."

Penalised

Munster's first try came near half-time when O'Gara was on the end of a staunch attack from the Irish side.

Harlequins crumbled under pressure with full-back Mark Mapletoft spilling the ball.

Munster's scrum-half Peter Stringer made the most of it and kicked the ball forward onto the ground into O'Gara's path and his rolled over the line for the try.

O'Gara converted having previously already converted two successful penalties after Tu Tamaura and Keith Wood were penalised.

And O'Gara's form did not falter after the break either.

The fly-half, who is trying to withstand tremendous pressure from Ulster's hero David Humphresy for the Irish number 10 jersey, added a drop goal six minutes after the restart.

Quins however were not completely outclassed and proved that they are worthy competitors in the Heineken Cup since their promotion from the European Shield last season.

England and Lions star Dan Luger scored their only try with a 14th-minute effort.

Munster's Jason Holland (right)
Jason Holland (r) scored late second half try

Quins former Ireland fly-half Paul Burke started the move after he made a searing break through the midfield.

Burke passed left to Will Greenwood who in turn fed Mapletoft only for the ball to go loose.

Harlequins, however, regained possession with Luger finally getting his hands on the ball to score.

Burke was not as consistent with the boot as usual and missed the conversion and two further penalties.

Munster, though, proved to be a cut above the average.

Kiwi centre Jason Holland banged over a drop goal when O'Gara was pinned down at a ruck.

Holland then wrapped the game up for Munstermen with an intercept try in the 80th minute leaving his former team-mate Keith Wood trailing.

Munster: Crotty, Kelly, Holland, Mullins, Horgan, O'Gara, Stringer, P. Clohessy, Sheahan, Cahill, Galwey, M. O'Driscoll, Williams, Wallace, Foley. Replacements: Horan, O'Connell, O'Callaghan, Fogarty, Prendergast, Staunton, Keane.

Castres: Mola, Plisson, Delmotte, Berryman, Longstaff, Townsend, Teulet, Toussaint, Ibanez, Moyle, Laluque, Spanghero, Costes, Froment, Lassissi. Replacements: R. Vigneaux, Dima, Reggiardo, Chinaro, Taussac, Sarramea, Artiguste.

Referee: Chris White (England)

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