Poor discipline from Quins ensures Munster start European Champions Cup campaign with victory
Munster 21 Harlequins 7
European Champions Cup Sunday 13th December 2020
Munster made Harlequins pay for their lack of discipline after completing a 21-7 victory over the London side in Limerick on Sunday.
In a match played in difficult conditions with a blustery wind and rain the first half was an even contest with the hosts going into the break with two JJ Hanrahan penalties to show for their efforts as they lead 6-0 at the break.
Harlequins matched their Pro 14 opponents and even thought they had come away in the opening forty minutes with a try which was eventually ruled out for a forward pass after Danny Care’s excellent crossfield kick fell to Cadan Murley , but his initial pass to Alex Dombrandt who dotted down was deemed forward.
Directly after Quins effort was ruled out, Hanrahan slotted over a penalty after James Chisholm was shown a yellow card for going in at the side.
Within seven minutes of the restart both sides were down to 14 men when Munster’s Stephen Archer was sent to the bin for ten minutes.
Harlequins discipline- not for the first time in the afternoon- let them down again when back rower Will Evans was shown a yellow card, with worse to come for the Gallagher Premiership side when the referee awarded Munster a penalty try.
At 13-0, Munster were well in control, but Harlequins got themselves back into the game when Murley touched down. Marcus Smith- who’s kicking boots weren’t quiet up to his normal high standard- slotted over the conversion to reduce the gap to six points. Only for Quins to receive their third yellow of the afternoon when Dombrandt was sent to the bin for not wrapping arms in the tackle- in so doing became the third back rower to indiscipline.
Ben Healy then extended the hosts advantage to nine points after a successful penalty kick before Gavin Coombes crashed over following a driving maul to give Munster an opening victory in the pool.
For Harlequins they will rue the amount of penalties given away, 15 and the three yellow cards shown to them with a lesson to remember in Europe. Keep your discipline and you have a chance with other sides in the competition, if you don’t you will get punished in a very big way.