MUNSTER came from the proverbial next parish to eventually earn a brilliant 22 points apiece URC draw with Sharks in Durban yesterday.
As a result, Graham Rowntree’s side confirmed their qualification for next season’s Champions Cup, and also secured a URC quarter-final away to Glasgow Warriors the weekend after next.
Sharks, meanwhile, will be absent from the Champions Cup of 2023/’24, unless they win this year’s competition outright (quarter-final v Leinster, away).
From their last 11 matches, Munster have earned eight wins and a draw.
Sharks were dominant in the scrum and won penalties at the set-piece throughout the game, leading 19-3 (Jack Crowley penalty) after a first half they controlled.
A brilliant fightback from Munster after the break started with a penalty try, followed by touchdowns by Calvin Nash and Conor Murray with Ben Healy kicking a conversion.
The visitors nearly won it at the death, but Gavin Coombes was held up over the line.
On the hour mark, Keith Earls was introduced for his 200th cap.
Earlier in the Champions Cup, Sharks easily beat Munster (50-35).
Munster: Mike Haley (Keith Earls, 61); Calvin Nash, Antoine Frisch, Malakai Fekitoa, Shane Daly; Jack Crowley (Ben Healy, 53), Conor Murray (Craig Casey, 73); Jeremy Loughman (Josh Wycherley, 61), Diarmuid Barron (Scott Buckley, 69), Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn (Edwin Edogbo, 65), Fineen Wycherley; Peter O’Mahony (captain), Alex Kendellen (Jack O’Donoghue, 61), Gavin Coombes.