by Brendan Cole


80 mins Munster win the restart and will have one last attack. Good yards made by Buckley and Munster are up to the 22 where they are given a penalty. They tap and go. but their effort ends with a fumble by Nick Williams.

An all French final it is: Biarritz advance.

Biarritz 18-7 Munster: Yachvili Penalty

79 mins O'Gara not happy with the call but Yachvili will take the shot at goal and again from dead in front he makes no mistake.

78 mins Biarritz take the restart and set another maul. Box kick from Yachvili which Munster claim and set up. O'Gara tries a corss kick but Ngwenya claims.

He kicks back and Munster attack again but are pinged for crossing on their own 22.

Biarritz 15-7 Munster: Yachvili Penalty

77 mins Devastated looks on the touchline.

Yachvili takes the shot from near his own 10m line and makes no mistake - good kick.

76 mins Biarritz win and maul it powerfully. Penalty against Munster for dropping the maul is given.

75 mins Scrum is lost against the head.

Biarritz clear it long and Munster scramble desperately in their own 22, throwing dodgy pases.

Earls has a cut down the wing but his chip doesn't work out. Biarritz kick the corner and Warwick is forced to throw a long pass to Hurley who kicks to touch up near half-way.

Deasy in for Hurley.

73 mins Scrum near the touchline and inside the Biarritz half for Munster. Earls makes good yards, beating one man and setting it up on the 10m line. Munster work some short balls - Wallace is hit hard - and the sequence ends with a knock on against Biarritz, who get a hand in on an O'Leary pass.

Stringer in for O'Leary.

72 mins Brugnaut is in for Horan.

Re-start ping pong series ends with a kick to touch by Yachvili - on the 10m line. Ball is worked wide where another messy ruck ends with a scrum call in favour of Munster.

Niall Ronan in for Alan Quinlan.

Biarritz 12-7 Munster: Yachvili Penalty

71 mins Yachvili makes no mistake with the kick from the 15 metre line.

69 mins The scrum is under 15 yards from the Munster line. Huge shove from Biarritz but they are forced to play it. Drop goal effort is awful and Mafi briefly looks like he has a chance but is tackled and he sets it up. At the next ruck, O'Leary is charged down and Biarritz almost get in - but the last offload does not quite go to hand. Hurley is penalised for batting it out with his hand though. Poor decision from the winger.

67 mins O'Callaghan wins but the lineout is reset. They win the second set but it is dirty ball. Williams sets it but Buckley fires a crazy offload out the back door and it goes between O'Gara's legs and Munster are scrambling.

Biarritz charge at it and win a turnover. Their ball on the Munster 22. Good penetration but the play ends with a scrum to Biarritz, a messy ruck the cause.

66 mins Yachvili mishandles and it is slow Biarritz ball on half-way. Peyrelongue then kicks a nice little chip down the line and into touch just in front of the Munster 22.

Carizza is in for Hall in the Biarritz second row.

65 mins Harinorduquy takes the restart and is hit hard by Buckley. Up and under is not handled well by Wallace, and Pearson gives a scrum to Biarritz inside the Munster half.

Florient Faure comes on for Harinorduquy who goes off clutching his ribs.

Biarritz 9-7 Munster: Yachvili Penalty

64 mins Easy chance for Yachvili from dead in front of the sticks and he clips it over.

63 mins Biarritz go wide and make good yardage - up near half-way. Peyrelongue then kicks up to Warwick and he opts to run it and is just ankle tapped when space was opening up - good play by Hall.

He spills it and Biarritz have it and are then given a penalty for a rucking offence.

61 mins Ball is won at the front and passes to De Villiers - he sets it and Munster up and under; Gobelet takes it well. Peyrelongue then kicks it and O'Gara is hit very hard by Hunt.

But Biarritz give away another penalty and Munster tap and go and make yards through Mafi down the left. They move it inside but a knock is given against Munster.

Scrum Biarritz near enough their 22.

Williams in for Coughlan.

60 mins Nick Williams being line up to come in.

OK scrum from Munster and Yachvili is penalised for yanking O'Leary over - very stupid. O'Gara clears to half-way.

59 mins Biarritz win it but Harinorduquy's attempt to drop it off the top is uncharateristically poor and Yachvili knocks it on.

Barcella on for Coetzee - could be a big moment: scrum Munster.

58 mins Munster win the lineout and maul it and O'Leary kicks it - not a great one - up to the Munster 22.

57 mins Buckley in for John Hayes.

Lineout is lost and Biarritz are attacking on the Munster 10m line. Balshaw then makes it up the Munster 22 with a good half-break and Yachvili then releases Gobelet up the middle and they are 10 yards away from the Munster line.

Another attack goes wide and Balshaw gets it and almost makes it to the line but O'Leary puts him into touch - a narrow escape.

56 mins Kick falls short and Yachvili clears it to up near half-way.

55 mins Kick is from just inside the Munster half and O'Gara will have a shot at goal.

53 mins Munster get it clear, and work it down the touchline - two good box kicks - and it is a Biarritz lineout on their own 10m line. Yachvili kicks hight from that and Earls takes it.

Penalty then given to Munster for a rucking offence.

51 mins Again, Munster fail to win it and Peyrelongue releases a sweet pass that puts Munster under pressure. A kick from Balshaw puts Munster deep into their own 22.

50 mins Munster win the lineout and shift it O'Gara but his kick is charged; a secondary knock on from the bouncing ball yields a scrum to Munster though and they win it under pressure and kick long.

Balshaw then punts it to touch from inside his own 22, just inside the Biarritz half.

48 mins Munster ball on the Biarritz 10m line but it is slow and move it wide to De Villiers who does brilliantly, half-breaking the tackle and offloading to Horan.

But Munster can't take advantage of the breakthrough, as Flannery drops it under pressure.

Biarritz turn it over and Balshaw kicks long into the Munster half.

47 mins Munster win this one though and O'Gara puts a dirty chip in front of Balshaw who misses it but then recovers well to kick down to the Biarritz 10m line.

Free kick given to Munster at the lineout which Flannery taps and goes with.

46 mins Biarritz take the lineout though, and Hunt punts it long. Peyrelongue is to come on though, replacing Erinle. Hunt will move to centre.

45 mins Scrum actually closer to half-way; Biarritz move it to Erinle but he is taken easily and it is Biarrit ball on the 10m line. Slow ball though and Hunt kicks it long to Warwick.

Good return from him; Yachvili returns another and Earls then tries a chip and charge but it does not work. Munster turn it over at the ruck though and O'Gara probes a kick down the line.

Gobelet does terribly, ambling back and getting caught before kicking sideways into touch.

44 mins Box kick return from the kick-off is spilled by Coughlan. Biarritz scrum on the Munster 10m line.

Biarritz 6-7 Munster: Yachvili Penalty

42 mins Munster take the lineout though - getting a hand to it and Wallace tidies it up. Big kick return and Harinorduquy takes it very well and sets it up.

Another kick return from Hunt and Flannery is picked out for dangerous play - left his legs in on the Biarritz man. Good spot the ref and a fair call - could easily have been worse.

Yachvili will have a shot at goal as the penalty is from where the ball landed: inside the Munster half.

He gets it.

41 mins Munster win it well and charge up Mafi. Coughlan then has an effective charge and Balshaw takes it well and marks but he kicks poorly - a low nothing chip infield. O'Gara's reply is poor though - straight to touch and it's Biarritz' lineout on half-way.

40 mins Munster leave Biarritz waiting for a minute before coming back out for the second half. O

O'Gara kicks off and Yachvili clears it to the Biarritz 10m line. Harinorduquy is back out and looks OK.


39 mins Munster kick-off to Harinorduquy who sets it up well and Balshaw clears. Warwick up and unders and Harinorduquy takes again and sets it up on his own 22. He stays down though as play goes on.

Hunt kicks long next. Warwick chips one down the line and Yachvili catches and chips it into touch. Half over.

A very good 40 minutes from Munster, who look the better side in lots of areas, not least out-half where Ronan O'Gara has done everything flawlessly, but also when attacking.

The Biarritz backs have been horribly inept.

The scrum is a worry but Munster may have a little more to give in the second half, though the entry of Fabien Barcella into the game could give them further problems.

It is there for the taking though.

Biarritz 3-7 Munster: Yachvili Penalty

38 mins John Hayes shoved up on that one. Yachvili takes the kick and he pops it over from the 22 metre line.

37 mins Munster scrum again pressed and this time, Pearson blows for a penalty against them.

36 mins Harinorduquy picks it and goes and Biarritz are attacking on the Munster 22. Again, not much happening in terms of penetration and it ends with a knock on by Lund, who attempts to offload but can't get it away correctly.

35 mins Biarritz lineout just outside the Munster 22. They win at the tail and try to release Erinle on a crash but the pass to him is forward. Munster scrum just outside their own 22.

Solid scrum but Pearson blows it up first time. Pressured this time and Biarritz force a turnover and its their scrum.

34 mins Munster waste no time in winning the lineout and clear through O'Leary. Sterling work.

33 mins O'Driscoll gets a fingertip to it but can't take and it is Biarritz ball. The kick is much better this time - Hunt punting it up to 6m from the Munster line from inside his own half.

33 mins Quinlan takes it this time and O'Leary box kicks. Biarritz take it but the return kick is a shocker from Balshaw - straight into touch again. Munster lineout inside the Biarritz half.

31 mins Munster lineout 5m from their line. O'Driscoll claims well and Munster maul it. Harinorduquy is then blown for climbing over the top of the maul - no wonder he has a broken nose as he ended up with upside down there.

O'Gara clears to the Munster 10m line.

31 mins Biarritz work a clever move down the touchline and it is TMO time......

Auguste almost gets over but a big hit from Denis Hurley with Mick O'Driscoll also there just forces him out in time.

No try the call.

30 mins Biarritz reply well, getting the ball after the kick-off and kicking to the corner where Warwick is forced to carry it into touch. Their lineout 10m from the Munster line.

Biarritz 0-7 Munster: O'Gara conversion

O'Gara slots the easy conversion.

Biarritz 0-5 Munster: Earls Try

26 mins Munster lineout and O'Leary kicks it high. Ngwenya returns it and Warwick chips and charges on the return.
Biarritz have it though on half-way and are starting to work some nice short passes and gains on short pops.

Up to the Munster 10m line but De Villiers turns it over and it is moved quickly to Donncha O'Callaghan. He charges 20 metres and feeds Quinlan, who sets it up on the 22. Lots of room as Biarritz fail to scramble back with any great urgency.

Moved wide, and Coughlan feeds Earls and he runs it in and gets round under the sticks!

24 mins Scrum Biarritz near the touchline. Good shove MUnster but they get it away and crash Erinle up. Some momentum for Biarritz as Harinorduquy and Hunt have goes and they are in the Munster half and up to the Munster 10m line.

But Munster regroup and smash tackle Biarritz back to halfway with Coughlan doing well. High kick on to Hurley but he takes it well. O'Gara then goes long down the middle.

Balshaw runs it back to half-way and sets it up. Ball is worked to the speedster Ngwenya but he is well coralled and shoved into touch.

23 mins Biarritz lineout on their 22. Harinorduquy wins and they set a maul and make 10 yards before Yachvili box kicks. Big challenge in the air but Biarritz recover it.

Referee blows it up for knock on over on the touchline.

21 mins Biarritz win scrappy ball and Yachvili has to scramble and duck and dive to get it. They go to pick and go and then a garryowen which Warwick takes bravely.

Advantage Munster for the challenge in the air and O'Gara opts to go for a big kick - a brilliant strike up to the Biarritz 22 from just inside his own bounces into touch.

20 mins Munster give away a penalty at the lineout and Balshaw kicks up to near the Munster 22.

17 mins Scrum is messy again but Munster win the second set, pulling it out quickly at the back. High kick is caught and returned by Biarritz, but more poor passing from them sees them lose it on half-way.

Munster turnover and move it wide quickly - a superb pass by O'Leary springs Flannery and he charges from half-way to within yards of the line but Ronan O'Gara can't quick take his offload and Biarritz scramble the ball clear.

Try chance gone begging.

16 mins Biarritz lineout halfway between the Munster 10m line and 22.

Shade of crooked in but not given and Biarritz try to maul. End up failing to control and knocking it on though. Scrum Munster.

15 mins Scrum battle has been very interesting: Munster are flaking into it. Biarritz win this one though and Harinorduquy picks and goes. He tries a high pass over De Villiers but he leaps high and catches it and run it back.

Munster on the attack and kick a high ball but De Villiers is hammered to bring an end to it - Munster kicked and retrieved and then O'Leary slung a pass to the centre who had a Biarritz man beside him and was duly slammed. They knock it on though and it's a Munster scrum.

Scrum is taken pressed again though and Horan is penalised.

14 mins Biarritz get the shove on and take it against the head - complacent from Munster there - and Harinorduquy picks and goes. Biarritz make it to half-way and put it up high. Counter-attack by Hurley but he knocks it on on his own 10m line.

13 mins Lineout doesn't work for Munster and Biarritz claim bouncing ball at the back. But they can't control it either and Erinle knocks it on near enough the Biarritz 22.

12 mins Munster win the lineout and work it to the far touchline. Nothing doing in attack and O'Gara pushes a low kick at Ngenwya, who catches and feeds Balshaw. But the Englishman can't execute and kicks his effort straight out: Munster lineout on the 10m line in the Biarritz half.

11 mins Biarritz take a sneaky 22 drop out and counter attack quickly up to halfway through Ngenwya.

A Yachvili kick goes wrong though - straight out - and it is Munster lineout ball on half-way.

9 mins O'Gara drills that up to the 22 and Munster win the lineout. Big carry from O'Callaghan off the top. Munster set it in midfield and work it Warwick, who tries a drop at goal but he pushes it weakly to the right and wide.

8 mins Scrum Munster on half-way line. They win it and then get handed another penalty - Biarritz being pinged for stepping back instead of pushing on their loosehead side.

6 mins Big scrum Munster and they force a mishandle from Erinle in the backline and get the ball. O'Leary passes to Mafi who flips to De Villiers and he sets it up on half-way.

Munster again start to try and create but are contained and O'Gara kicks to Ngenwya. More ping pong gets underway.

Ended by Quinlan and Ngwenya drops one that was dropping fast in front of him - a poor kick by Quinlan, a worse effort at a catch by the winger.

5 mins Biarritz win at the tail and crash Erinle up. Hunt charges next and Munster are working hard in defence and manage a turnover at the counter ruck. They work it to O'Gara who slides a low kick down the line that Balshaw collects and returns it.

Warwick takes that and kicks to Ngenwya. He kicks and then Alan Quinlan gets it and runs and then chips and chases - almost gets to the ball but knocks it on inside the Biarritz half.

Scrum Biarritz inside their own half.

4 mins Biarritz dominate the scrum this time, crumpling the Munster scrum down Marcus Horan's side, and it is their penalty.

They kick to up near the Munster 22 as Hall comes back in.

3 mins Munster win the lineout and O'Gara puts up a high ball, which Biarritz 7 Magnus Lund knocks on. Scrum Munster on the Biarritz 10m line.

Hall will be back in soon.

2 mins Injury problems for Biarritz - second row Trevor Hall forced off with a blood injury problem. Carizza comes in.

Scrum Munster just outside their 22 - and they shunt Biarritz back before the ball comes in. Penalty Munster which O'Gara punts into the Biarritz half.

1 min Imanol Harinorduquy has a bizzare looking rig on his face - a bit like the soccer player's nose guard but much heavier.

Surely it a) won't last 5 minutes and b) will restrict him severely.

Biarritz kick-off and the ball is not controlled by Munster: a knock on, scrum Biarritz just outside the Munster 22.

Huge scrum from Munster, they take two yards and shove Biarritz back. The Basque side go to pick and go and short charges but can't make ground and eventually spill a ball forward.


3.14pm Teams taking the field: Biarritz in Basque colours of white, green and red; Munster in navy.

Alan Quinlan having a nice chat with Chris White in the tunnel.

3.10pm Kick-off running ever so slightly late but we should be good to go in a few minutes.

Conditions look ideal - a bit of cloud about, not too warm. Ideal rugby weather.

2.35pm Teams confirmed for today's game:

Biarritz: Balshaw, Ngwenya, Mignardi, Erinle, Gobelet, Hunt,
Yachvili, Coetzee, August, Johnstone, Thion, Hall, Lund, Lauret,

Replacements: Terrain, Barcella, Hughes, Carizza, Faure,
Courrent, Peyrelongue, Bidabe.

Munster: Warwick, Mafi, Earls, de Villiers, D. Hurley, O'Gara,
O'Leary, Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Driscoll,
Quinlan, Wallace, Coughlan.

Replacements: Varley, Brugnaut, Buckley, N. Williams, Ronan,
Stringer, Gleeson, Deasy.

Referee: Dave Pearson (RFU)

2pm No reports of late changes for either side ahead of today's clash at Stadio Anoeta in San Sebastian - with rumours that Paul Warwick would not start proving unfounded.

Munster are without a quartet of big names though with Paul O'Connell, Denis Leamy, Doug Howlett and Ian Dowling all ruled. Biarritz are without their talisman Damian Traille.

As with Le Stadium in Toulouse yesterday, there is a threat of rain falling at some point during today's match though conditions are expected to be mild.

Match preview (teams) - Munster Team News