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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 May 2006, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
Live: Munster 23-19 Biarritz
All the action as Munster win the Heineken Cup final for the first time in their history.


80 mins+1: Munster are awarded a penalty, Stringer kicks it into touch and the final whistle goes. The players go absolutely bonkers. Man of the match Stringer slumps to his knees, overcome with the emotion of the occasion. O'Connell, meanwhile, flies off the bench to cheer on his team-mates with tears flooding his eyes. Biarritz's players, in contrast, look devastated.

80 mins: Arguably the biggest cheer of the match goes up when Munster are awarded a scrum. Win this and boot it clear, and the Heineken Cup is their's.

79 mins: Bidabe makes Munster hearts skip a beat with an electric break. He nearly sends Brusque on his way but he is just dragged to the turf. It's a nailbiting finish in Cardiff.

78 mins: The noise now reaches new levels inside the Millennium Stadium as the referee breaks off the action for two minutes. Seconds later Biarritz enjoy a break but it comes to nothing when the tireless Stringer hoofs the ball clear. Munster's fans absolutely love it.

77 mins: Arramburu tries a chip and chase on the break. Horgan though scoops it up before being battered by his tackler.

76 mins: O'Gara nearly sends Anthony Horgan on a timely break, but a tackle to his midriff sees him spill the ball. In the interim, an injured O'Connell comes off the field. He looks anxious on the bench in the dying minutes of this match. Alan Quinlan takes his place on the field.

74 mins: O'Gara looks like a rabid dog as he barks orders at his team-mates. Meanwhile, one of Munster's other stars today, O'Connell, takes some time out for a spot of treatment. It doesn't look too serious at the minute.

73 mins: PENALTY Munster 23-19 Biarritz
Biarritz look livid after Census Johnson concedes a penalty for illegally coming in on the side. It gives O'Gara the chance to edge his side further ahead, which he does to maintain his 100% kicking record today.

71 mins: The fresh legs of Mick O'Driscoll come on for Foley, who receives rapturous applause as he trundles off the field.

70 mins: PENALTY Munster 20-19 Biarritz
Yachvili cooly takes a brief sip from his water bottle before steadying himself for a latest penalty kick. Despite immense pressure, his kick floats over. Munster now lead by just a solitary point with 10 minutes left on the clock. We're set for a captivating finale.

69 mins: Flannery is a picture of concentration as he pings his latest throw into the ever-reliable clutches of O'Connell. The Irish second rower then drives his forwards on before finally releasing it to the boot of O'Gara. The ball then hurtles off his boot into touch after which he bellows a rousing team talk to his fellow Munster players.

67 mins: Benjamin Noirot takes the place of Benoit August for the final 15 minutes of the match.

65 mins: Biarritz look in an excellent attacking position as Munster desperately spread wide in an effort to cover a French overlap. Their fears are finally allayed when Bobo fails to take a pass and the ball flies into touch.

63 mins: The hero of the first half, Stringer, produces the goods once more. He bundles Brusque into touch much to the delight of his team-mates

61 mins: Halstead enjoys another burst, arcing his back and evading two tacklers. It adds fresh bite to Munster, who then keep it in-house with their forwards.

60 mins: Betsen is penalised for a touch of foul play on the floor. It's not the first time the referee has had to have words with the France international. From the subsequent penalty, O'Gara fails to make touch. Much to his relief, though, Peyrelongue hoofs the ball out on the full and Munster win a line-out.

57 mins: Donncha O'Callachan brings an almighty cheer from the crowd when he wins a Biarritz line-out deep in opposition territory. Biarritz, though, rapidly win back possession.

55 mins: Wolf whistles ring out at the Millennium Stadium as Harinordoquy changes out of his ripped shorts into a fresh pair. It gives the other players to take a breather from a mightily intense second half.

53 mins: Traille comes off the field clutching his ribs and grimacing in pain. The man to come on in his place is Federico Martin Arramburu. Amid these fresh substitutions, Biarritz are turning the screw and now look the better of the two sides out there.

52 mins: Theirry Dusautoir comes onto the field for an injured-looking Thomas Lievremont. It remains to be seen whether that will change the shape of the game particularly.

51 mins: PENALTY Munster 20-16 Biarritz
There's a bonkers two minutes on the field. Harinordoquy is slammed to the turf after a high tackle by David Wallace. He looks shaken as play carries on through an array of attacks. Wallace's high tackle gifts Biarritz another penalty, which Yachvili kicks.

49 mins: PENALTY Munster 20-13 Biarritz
Yachvili cuts the deficit with Biarritz's first points of the half.

47 mins: Gobelet and Nicholas Brusque try to force a gap in Munster's currently resolute defence. Nothing comes of it, so Brusque kicks for touch instead.

45 mins: Olivier Olibeau takes the place of David Couzinet, while the groundsmen do a few running repairs on the cutting up pitch.

44 mins: There's much back-patting for Hayes and Foley after helping to rob Biarritz of possession and win their side a scrum. The Irish province are incredibly pumped up for this half.

43 mins: PENALTY Munster 20-10 Biarritz
Biarritz fail to release the ball under a second high ball in as many minutes. As a result, O'Gara gets another stab at goal... and over it goes.

42 mins: O'Gara puts Munster in the ascendancy almost immediately with a massive high ball. Biarritz have an almighty struggle to gather and eventually clear it.

41 mins: The action is under way once more in Cardiff, courtesy of the boot of O'Gara.


HALF-TIME

40 mins: The whistle goes for half-time and the teams stagger in looking shattered after a very physical and captivating first half. The 70,000 spectators will be hoping for more of the same on the resumption of play.

38 mins: Try scorer Halstead is terrorising Biarritz's defence now. He repeatedly evades his first tackle to send his fellow backs on their way. After the move breaks down, the bald-headed John Hayes receives some brief treatment.

35 mins: The terrier-like Stringer couldn't be more pumped up now if he tried. He screams out instructions at his team-mates to keep their cool in the final passages of play before half-time.

32 mins: TRY Munster 17-10 Biarritz
Stringer darts in for a stunning solo effort. From the back of the Munster scrum, he catches Biarritz's defence napping, he goes down the blind side, leaves Betsen trailing in his wake and scores. As seems to have become the custom, O'Gara adds two points.

30 mins: The ice pack comes out for the shoulder of O'Gara after the latest knock takes its toll. It gives the crowd a chance to chant "Munster, Munster" repeatedly. The players are beginning to tire a little heading into the latter stages of this half.

28 mins: Jean-Baptiste Gobelet almost picks up another try for Biarritz but the boot of Ian Dowling comes to the rescue and hoofs it into touch. He and his team-mates look mightily relieved in the subsequent fall-out.

26 mins: Both sides take turns in launching attacks only to be stopped in their tracks by some immense tackling.

23 mins: PENALTY Munster 10-10 Biarritz
Yachvili levels the scores with a penalty.

21 mins: It's a case of anything O'Gara can do, Yachvili can do better. He casually kicks over the two forward packs to put Munster's line-out under pressure. In the resutling melee, Peter Stringer injures his back and has to receive some medical treatment.

20 mins: O'Gara appears to be incapable of doing anything wrong now. With his side under pressure he cooly slots the ball well past the half-way line from within his own 22.

17 mins: TRY Munster 10-7 Biarritz
There's a staggering intensity to Munster's game now. Normally so reliant on keeping the ball in their pack, they repeatedly spread it wide... and to great effect. After a series of passes, they finally force a way through as Trevor Halstead batters and pirouettes his way through to the right-hand corner. It's nothing less than they deserve after dominating both possession and invention. O'Gara adds a second excellent kick to his earlier effort.

15 mins: O'Gara tries to chip and chase over the Biarritz try line. He just misses out when Damien Traille grabs it and grounds it. It's a case of handbags between the opposite teams after O'Gara follows in a a tad heftily.

14 mins: Munster's forwards and backs alike act akin to battering rams as they charge into Biarritz's defence. But the defenders stand firm as wave upon wave of attack flies in. After 11 phases of recycled possession, Munster win a penalty.

13 mins: Serge Betsen is penalised for foul play in a maul. Rather than go for a reasonably straightforward three points, captain Anthony Foley calls on O'Gara to kick for touch.

11 mins: It's another bruising line-out, highlighting how physical the forward battle is going to be today. A little bit of fisticuffs ensues, causing the referee to call for calm.

9 mins: There's a second cacophony of boos (see 3 mins) when Shaun Payne gets a foot in touch. It immediately piles the pressure on Munster's defence.

7 mins: PENALTY Munster 3-7 Biarritz
Bobo is nearly on his way for try number two after latching on to an attacking Ronan O'Gara crossfield kick. But the Fijian flyer is called back after Biarritz are penalised for offside. O'Gara makes them pay with three points.

5 mins: Referee Chris White calls in Imanol Harinordoquy "for a chat". He tells him off after a late tackle on Peter Stringer.

3 mins: TRY Munster 0-7 Biarritz
It's the worst possible start for Munster as Biarritz run in a try. Dimitri Yachvili twice spreads the ball wide on the attack. His second attempt bears fruit as Philippe Bidabe hands off John Kelly, opens a gap and sends Sereli Bobo on his way. There are boos from the Munster crowd when television replays show Bobo actually got a foot in touch. Yachvili adds a supreme conversion from the touchline.

1501: The game kicks off, much to the delight of the crowd. It's a superb kick-off from Julien Peyrelongue, who wins an attacking line-out almost immediately.

1456: The 70,000-strong crowd is involved in a massive Mexican wave to U2's Vertigo, which is blaring out of the speakers in Cardiff.

1448: The atmosphere is electric at a packed-out Millennium Stadium, where the roof is over for the Heineken Cup final. The noise, predominantly from the red-shirted Munster fans, is deafening.


Munster are moments away from kicking off in their third Heineken Cup final as they bid to make up for earlier defeats in 2000 and 2002.

They have included injury concerns Paul O'Connell, Marcus Horan and John Kelly against Biarritz, while the French side welcome back captain Thomas Lievremont.


Munster: S Payne; A Horgan, J Kelly, T Halstead, I Dowling; R O'Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell; D Leamy, D Wallace, A Foley (capt).
Replacements: D Fogarty, F Pucciariello, M O'Driscoll, A Quinlan, T O'Leary, J Manning, R Henderson.

Biarritz: N Brusque; J-B Gobelet, P Bidabe, D Traille, S Bobo; J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili; P Balan, B August, C Johnson, J Thion, D Couzinet, S Betsen, I Harinordoquy, T Lievremont (capt).
Replacements: B Noirot, B Lecouls, O Olibeau, T Dusautoir, M Carizza, J Dupuy, F Martin Arramburu.

Referee: Chris White (Rugby Football Union)




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