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Published: 09:47 | 12/1/16

Munster hammered in Paris


Munster's European hopes are over for another year as they slumped to a 25-0 defeat to 14-man Stade Francais in their rescheduled European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 4 clash at the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris.

The game had been postponed in the wake of the attacks on the French capital in November and, while that may have served to delay the Irish province's exit from the competition, there was nowhere to hide this time out.

The two-times champions turned in a listless display and were soundly thrashed by the French side who played half the game with only 14 men after Josaia Rausque was sent off for gouging.

Munster actually started quite well and kept their hosts scoreless until centre Paul Williams finished off a slick move to cross under the posts.

Out-half Morne Steyn slotted the conversion and extended the lead to 10-0 with a penalty shortly afterwards as all Munster's good early work looked like it would count for nothing.

But they were given some hope on the stroke of half-time as winger Raisuque was sent off for gouging CJ Stander, with referee Nigel Owens showing no hesitation on brandishing the red card.

Unfortunately, Keatley was unable to take advantage as the resultant penalty drifted the wrong side of the upright.

Any hopes Anthony Foley's charges might have harboured of turning things around after the break proved unfounded as they were unable to make their extra man count and committed a frustrating series of poor handling and kicking errors.

Steyn increased the Top 14 side's advantage to 13-0 with his second penalty of the match on 54 minutes and things only got worse from there.

Tries from Sekhou Macalou and Hugo Bonneval in a four minute spell put the result beyond doubt, with Steyn converting both to make it 27-0 with ten minutes to play.

Conor Murray crossed for Munster's only score of the game on 74 minutes, with Rory Scannell converting, but it was scant consolation for Anthony Foley's men who must now look to the PRO12 to salvage their season.

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