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Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Sunday, 27 April 2008 18:21 UK
Heineken Cup semi-finals 2008
26-27 April, 2008



Saracens director of rugby Alan Gaffney
Saracens boss Gaffney is a former coach of Munster

Saracens boss Alan Gaffney was left to rue a lapse in concentration following his side's 18-16 defeat by Munster in the Heineken Cup semi-finals.

Alan Quinlan crossed for Munster's second try just before the interval.

Gaffney said: "The try on half-time was a killer, we didn't react to the penalty in Munster's half, we turned our backs. It was a costly error.

"It was always going to be a war of attrition, but we fought through it and I'm very proud of what they did."

Gaffney, who will hand over the reins to former Wallaby coach Eddie Jones next season, went on: "To hold out with 13 men and not concede any points and then nearly pinch the game at the end is disappointing but I'm delighted with the way we performed.

They were prepared to do anything and everything they could to win the game, which is a great credit to them

Munster skipper Paul O'Connell

"It was an entertaining game of rugby, both sides tried to play, despite the conditions. There's definitely something to build on.

"The unfortunate thing is now we don't qualify for Europe, we'll be in the Challenge Cup next season, and that's a bit strange for a defeated semi-finalist. But we know the way the seedings work."

Munster captain and man of the match Paul O'Connell said he had not been surprised by Saracens' courageous display.

He said: "If you read the papers you wouldn't have been expecting that kind of performance from them but we knew they were an excellent side.

"And they brought extra passion and emotion into the game with it being Alan Gaffney's last European game and Richard Hill's last shot at silverware. So we weren't surprised, we knew it was going to be tough.

"They were prepared to do anything and everything they could to win the game, which is a great credit to them. They were outstanding, we had to dig deep.

"I think when we went 15-8 up we would have liked to have played with a bit more control but it didn't work out that way.

"We were disappointed with some of the penalties we gave away, but these things happen when players are on the edge, which is where you want them to be.

"We got away with a few of our bad decisions and we made our good ones count."


see also
Heineken Cup as it happened
27 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Hill set for final fling
25 Apr 08 |  English
Hill primed for Munster mission
25 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Saracens 29-40 Wasps
20 Apr 08 |  English
Munster 9-8 Ospreys
19 Apr 08 |  Munster
Ricoh will host Saracens-Munster
07 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Munster deserve plaudits - Ryan
07 Apr 08 |  Gloucester
Gaffney happy to silence critics
06 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Saracens 19-10 Ospreys
06 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Gloucester 3-16 Munster
05 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union


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