On this day, 19 years ago, Munster Rugby lost 16-15 to Stade Francais in the Heineken Cup semi final in Lille. The game, lives long in the memory of Munster fans for all the wrong reasons.
Munster’s hopes of reaching a second successive Heineken Cup final were dashed in controversial circumstances by Stade Francais at Stade Nord in Lille.
Stade scored the only try of a game in the 33rd minute before nervously hanging on to their first half advantage. Ronan O’Gara kicked five penalties for Munster.
But it was a controversial decision which possibly cost Munster another cup final appearance.
They were denied a perfectly good try in the 52nd minute when they were trailing 16-9. Winger John O’Neill chased a kick by scrum-half Peter Stringer and appeared to touch down in the corner.
However, English referee Chris White ruled that O’Neill had crashed into the corner flag before touching down.
A television replay, however, proved differently. Stade, who led 16-6 at half-time, managed to hold on during a nervous final 10 minutes.
MUNSTER: Dominic Crotty; John O’Neill, Mike Mullins, Jason Holland, Anthony Horgan, Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer; Peter Clohessy, Frankie Sheehan, John Hayes; Mike Galwey, John Langford; Donncha O’Callaghan, David Wallace, Anthony Foley. Replacements used: Marcus Horan, Dion O’Cuinneagain,