Munster suffer yet more Champions Cup semi-final heartbreak

Ronan O'Gara and Donnacha Ryan make presentation to Peter O'Mahony before the Munster match

Dan Carter used his experience to help Racing 92 beat Munster and reach the European Champions Cup final.

Thomas, dropped by the French Six Nations squad after a late night out in Edinburgh earlier this year, scored twice in the first half but then unselfishly allowed Maxime Machenaud to claim the third try despite already being inside the dead ball area and only needing to touch the ball down.

The visitors conceded three tries in the first 21 minutes and could make no impact on the Top 14 side, except for a solitary Ian Keatley penalty.

Munster, 24-3 down at the interval, fought back with second-half tries by Simon Zebo, Rhys Marshall and Andrew Conway but never looked capable of setting up an all-Irish final against Leinster.

Racing will take on Leinster in the final in Bilbao on May 12th.

In the heat of Bordeaux's Chaban Delmas stadium, Racing went ahead after five minutes when Thomas finished in the corner after good work by the forwards.

There was one penalty kicked by Ian Keatley before the break.


Munster could not deal with their opponents' pace and power and fell further behind after a handling error by Alex Wootton allowed the home side to burst through the defence again.

Tries from Rhys Marshall and Andrew Conway followed for Munster, but they were consolations only as Racing 92 held on to book their ticket to the Basque Country for the Champions Cup final next month.

Thomas was celebrating his second try soon after, his global colleague Virimi Vakatawa doing the damage with a superb surge from halfway, handing off Jean Kleyn in the process, and giving the 24-year-old speedster a simple run-in.

This was Munster's sixth straight defeat in Champions Cup semi-finals in the 10 years since their 2008 final success over Toulouse in Cardiff.

With an vast number of fans making the journey to Bordeaux, it seemed at times that Munster had wrenched the home-nation advantage away from the French side Racing 92.

JJ Hanrahan failed to add the extras and it left the scoreline reading Racing 27 Munster 8 with 15 minutes left to play.

Machenaud converted and he was gifted a try soon after, the rapid Thomas proving to be too hot to handle as he darted under the posts and casually tossed the ball back for his captain to dot down.

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