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Last Updated: Friday, 31 October, 2003, 21:51 GMT
Last gasp win for Munster
CELTIC LEAGUE
Munster's Jeremy Staunton was his side's match-winner
Munster (13) 22
Try: Mullins
Cons: Staunton
Pens: Staunton (5)
Warriors (10) 21
Tries: Havili, Booth
Cons: N Jenkins
Pens: N Jenkins (3)
Att: 2,000
Munster 22-21 Warriors

An injury-time penalty by leading scorer Jeremy Staunton helped Munster complete back-to-back wins in a nail-biting finish at Thomond Park.

Staunton held his nerve impressively when landing the winning penalty into a howling wind from just outside the Warriors 22 after the Welsh went offside.

Munster, who leapfrogged their opponents in the table, ran down the clock before the game ended in a bizarre fashion.

Warriors legend Neil Jenkins kicked the ball away in anger after his side was penalised in a ruck only to flatten Scottish referee Andrew Ireland accidentally in the process.

Munster opened brightly with Staunton landing an early penalty and then converting Mike Mullins' 15th try for a 10-0 lead.

The Warriors hit back on the half-hour with a well-constructed try scored by prop Phil Booth near the posts and Jenkins converted for 10-7.

Staunton and Jenkins exchanged penalties to leave Munster 13-10 in front at the break and playing into the strong wind.

Some of the decisions were not what I would expect from a professional referee
Warriors coach Lynn Howells
Within 90 seconds of the re-start the Warriors levelled with a Jenkins penalty only for Staunton to edge in front again with another kick.

But that advantage lasted only a few minutes, when Shaun James set up powerful wing Aisea Havili for the Warriors' second try which Jenkins was unable to convert.

Now 18-16 adrift, Munster nipped in front once more with a Staunton penalty after 53 minutes. Yet three minutes later Jenkins edged the Warriors back in front at 21-19.

That was the way it stayed until Staunton emerged as the Munster hero with his dramatic late penalty and completed a 17-point haul.

Warriors coach Lynn Howells was annoyed at the decision to award Munster a penalty and give Staunton his chance to win the game.

"The referee said we came in at the side of the ruck, but we drove right over the top. Some of the decisions were not what I would expect from a professional referee," said Howells.

"But we came here and competed, that's the important thing. We're good enough at this level."


Munster: Crotty, McPhail, Mullins, Holland, Lawlor, Staunton, Reddan, Kerr, Long, Roche, Hogan, Keogh, Leamy, Williams, McMahon.
Replacements: Blaney, McGovern, D. Sheahan, Hayes, F. Murphy, O'Sullivan, Casey.

Warriors: E. Lewis, Wyatt, S. James, L. Thomas, Havili, N. Jenkins, John, Booth, Rees, Horsman, D. Jones, Budgett, M. Lewis, Parks, Harris.
Replacements: Balshen, Morris, Halford, Molitika, Chiltern, Nuthall, Musto.

Referee: A Irland (Scotland).




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