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RugbyU: Munster rout Toulouse tp advance to European Cup semis

Munster outplayed four-time champions Toulouse 47-23 to move into the European Cup semi-finals in impressive style on Saturday. The Irish province, themselves former two-time title holders of the continent's elite club tournament in 2006 and 2008, will play the winners of the Toulon v Leinster quarter-final scheduled for Sunday. "It was one of those days where everything came off for us," Munster lock Paul O'Connell said of the six-try-to-two victory. "We had a great start, and were disciplined for the rest of the game.

RugbyU: Force edge Reds with late try

A try by Jayden Hayward in the final minutes clinched a dramatic 32-29 win for the Western Force over Queensland Reds for their fourth straight Super 15 victory in Brisbane on Saturday. Fullback Hayward beat three tackles, including efforts by Wallaby halves Quade Cooper and Will Genia, to score next to the goalposts in the 79th minute to wrest back the lead in a see-sawing contest.

Rugby Union: French Olympic committee upholds Laporte's 16-week ban

The French National Olympic and Sporting Committee (CNOSF) has upheld a 16-week ban on Toulon coach Bernard Laporte for verbally abusing a referee, his lawyer said Saturday. "We have a mixed feeling of regret and failure," lawyer Paul Mauriac told AFP, adding that Laporte had not yet decided whether to further pursue the issue. "For the moment, Bernard Laporte has one goal and that's tomorrow's match (European Cup quarter-final against Leinster). We'll let the dust settle and see next week. "Maybe he'll get bored of it all and give up, but it's not his style."

RugbyU: Queensland Reds 29 Western Force 32

Result of a Super 15 match between the Queensland Reds and Western Force in Brisbane on Saturday: Queensland Reds (AUS) 29 Western Force (AUS) 32 (h-t: 17-17) Scorers Force - Tries: Ben McCalman, Luke Morahan, Jayden Hayward. Conversions: Hayward. Penalties: Sias Ebersohn (4). Drop goal: Ebersohn Reds - Tries: Ben Tapuai, James Slipper. Conversions: Quade Cooper (2). Penalties: Cooper, Mike Harris (4) . Referee: Garratt Williamson (NZL) afp

RugbyU: Barrett's boot sees Hurricanes home over Bulls

The Wellington Hurricanes set out to run the Northern Bulls into submission but in the end had to rely on the boot of Beauden Barrett to pull off a 25-20 Super 15 win on Saturday. Barrett's 20-point contribution ensured the Hurricanes continued their revival after a horror start to the season. After producing just one win from their first five matches, the Hurricanes have now won two in a row as they backed up from a narrow win over the Canterbury Crusaders last week.

RugbyU: McAlister starts instead of Beauxis for Munster clash

Four-time European Cup winners Toulouse's star New Zealander fly-half Luke McAlister was named in the starting line-up for their quarter-final with two-time champions Munster in Limerick on Saturday. The 30-year-old former All Black star -- capped 30 times at fly-half and centre till he joined Toulouse in 2011 -- had originally been named on the replacements bench as he is just returning from two weeks of treatment on his back but has been ultimately preferred to French veteran Lionel Beauxis.

RugbyU: McAlister starts instead of Beauxis for Munster clash

Four-time European Cup winners Toulouse's star New Zealander fly-half Luke McAlister was named in the starting line-up for their quarter-final with two-time champions Munster in Limerick on Saturday. The 30-year-old former All Black star -- capped 30 times at fly-half and centre till he joined Toulouse in 2011 -- had originally been named on the replacements bench as he is just returning from two weeks of treatment on his back but has been ultimately preferred to French veteran Lionel Beauxis.

RugbyU: Wellington Hurricanes 25 Northern Bulls 20

Result of a Super 15 match between the Wellington Hurricanes and Northern Bulls at McLean Park on Saturday: Wellington Hurricanes (NZL) 25 Northern Bulls (RSA) 20 (h-t 16-13) Scorers Hurricanes - Tries: Andre Taylor. Conversion: Beauden Barrett. Penalties: Beauden Barrett (6) Bulls - Try: Jurgen Visser, Handre Pollard. Conversions: Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Pollard. Penalties: Potgieter (2) Referee: Steve Walsh (AUS) afp

RugbyU: Celtic League table

Celtic League table after Friday's match (played, won, drawn, lost, points for, points against, bonus points, total points): Leinster 18 14 1 3 436 287 10 68 Munster 18 14 0 4 429 263 7 63 Ulster 18 13 0 5 364 241 8 60 Glasgow 17 13 0 4 306 245 4 56 Ospreys 18 10 1 7 454 309 10 52 Scarlets 18 8 1 9 334 363 7 41 Edinburgh 17 7 0 10 303 364 6 34 Connacht 18 6 0 12 301 352 10 34 Newport 18 6 1 11 312 374 5 31 Cardiff 18 5 1 12 342 461 6 28

RugbyU: Munster's 'Red Army' ready to roar in crunch European tie

When four-time winners Toulouse run out to play twice champions Munster in a European Cup quarter-final at Limerick's Thomond Park on Saturday, they'll also be playing the 'Red Army'. Munster have lost just two of their 58 European Cup matches at Thomond, while the Red Army, the collective name for their fans deriving from the team's red shirt, has proudly displayed the banner 'Irish by birth, Munster by the grace of God' in rugby grounds across Europe.
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