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Saturday, 12 October, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Gloucester maul Munster
Gloucester wing Marcel Garvey beats Mossy Lawlor before going on to score the first try
Garvey kicks ahead before grabbing the first try
Gloucester 35-16 Munster

Gloucester opened their Heineken Cup campaign in impressive fashion by outmuscling last season's finalists Munster at Kingsholm.

Teenage wing sensation Marcel Garvey added to his growing reputation with the first of four home tries as the Zurich Premiership leaders subdued the battle-hardened Irish province.

South African flanker Jake Boer grabbed two and fly-half Ludovic Mercier the other, the Frenchman adding three conversions and three penalties in a 20-point haul.

Gloucester, semi-finalists in their only previous Heineken campaign two years ago and unbeaten at home for a year, led 16-9 after a tight opening period.

  Scoreboard
Gloucester:
Tries: Garvey, Boer 2, Mercier
Cons: Mercier 3
Pens: Mercier 3
Munster:
Try: Stringer
Con: O'Gara
Pens: O'Gara 3
Yellow card: Sheahan (Munster) 70

But the Cherry-and Whites upped the forward ante to totally dominate proceedings in a one-sided second half.

Munster, twice losing finalists in the past three years, had proved themselves past masters of winning in hostile environments in this competition.

Injury problems had forced them to bring back 36-year-old former captain Mick Galwey in the second row for a record 46th Heineken Cup outing.

And the visitors used all their experience to keep the home side at bay in a scoreless first quarter as Gloucester tried to spread the play wide to little effect.

A clever chip over the defence from scrum-half Andy Gomarsall was only just too long for wing Tom Beim to collect before Mercier opened the scoring with a penalty after 21 minutes.

But O'Gara had Munster level two minutes later when Henry Paul checked a dangerous counter attack from wing Mossy Lawlor.

Robert Todd is shackled by Jim Williams and Rob Henderson of Munster
Robert Todd is shackled by two Munster tacklers

Mercier edged Gloucester back in front with his second penalty before Garvey showed why he has become an immediate favourite with The Shed.

Seeing Munster full-back Jeremy Staunton was not at home, Mercier kicked ahead into space down the right wing.

Garvey set off in hot pursuit, beat the retreating Lawlor for pace to nudge the ball on and comfortably won the race to touch down.

Mercier converted via an upright to put Gloucester in the ascendancy at 13-3, before O'Gara narrowed the gap with his second penalty.

The Frenchman landed his third penalty before the interval but O'Gara kept the half-time deficit to seven with two more of his own.

Munster, who lost Lions centre Rob Henderson with a sprained ankle and a torn bicep muscle in his left arm before the interval, continued to frustrate the home side on the resumption.

Buckled

Gloucester were camped in the visitors' territory for the opening 15 minutes of the second half, but failed to convert any of their opportunites.

But Munster finally buckled in the 58th minute when flanker Jake Boer was propelled over from a rolling maul, Mercier converting for a 23-9 lead.

The Frenchman scored the third himself shortly afterwards when flanker Peter Buxton took advantage of a blatant push at a line-out that French referee Joel Dume failed to spot.

Mercier again converted and there might have been more tries before Boer stretched over for his second two minutes from time.

Munster scrum-half Peter Stringer wriggled over for a converted injury-time try, but it was precious little consolation to the well-beaten visitors.


Gloucester: Paul; Garvey, Fanolua, Todd, Beim; Mercier, Gomarsall; Woodman, Azam, Vickery, Eustace, Cornwell, Boer, Buxton, Forrester.
Replacements: Amor, Simpson-Daniel, Stuart-Smith, Fidler, Fortey, Roncero, Pearce.

Munster: Staunton; Kelly, Mullins, Henderson, Lawlor; O'Gara, Stringer; Horan, Sheahan, Hayes, Galwey, M O'Driscoll, Williams, Quinlan, Foley.
Replacements: Kerr, Blaney, Halvey, Leamy, Prendergast, Holland, Crotty.

Referee: Joel Dume (France)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Alastair Hignell
"Gloucester swept Munster off the park"
Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Melville
"We played some positive football"
Gloucester's Ludovic Mercier
"I hope I have lots of days like this"

Heineken Cup

Parker Pen Cup

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