Munster started and finished strongly to set up a 41-16 win over Toulouse at Thomond Park – and a place in the Champions Cup semi-finals against the winners of today’s tie between Saracens and Glasgow.
Paul Perez’s controversially awarded try breathed new life into Toulouse’s challenge at 24-16 down – but closing tries from Darren Sweetnam, his first in Europe, and replacement Andrew Conway sent the Irish province through in convincing fashion.
Munster were ten points up in as many minutes, profiting from Francois Cros’ early sin-binning as prop and man-of-the-match John Ryan muscled over for a try.
A third penalty success, from all of 44 metres, by Jean-Marc Doussain, pictured, brought wind-backed Toulouse to within four points (13-9) at the break. This was a much tighter contest than the 2014 quarter-final in Limerick – which Munster won 47-23 – but either side of Perez’s converted effort, Rassie Erasmus’ current crop amassed 28 second half points, including a sharp early score from CJ Stander.
Stand-off Tyler Bleyendaal finished with 21 points off the tee, including five penalties, and Sweetnam and Conway gleefully put the result beyond doubt by setting up either a home semi-final against defending champions Saracens or a trip to Murrayfield to face regular Pro12 rivals Glasgow.