How the Munster players rated against Toulon

Munster's James Coughlan, left, and CJ Stander leave the field after defeat to Toulon in the Heineken Cup semi-final
We rate the Munster players after their 24-18 loss to Toulon in the Heineken Cup semi-final in Marseille.

We rate the Munster players after their 24-18 loss to Toulon in the Heineken Cup semi-final in Marseille.

FELIX JONES 7

Wasn’t tested hugely in the air and even defensively he didn’t have a massive amount to do. But he was busy throughout looking for work before being replaced by Denis Hurley in the second half

KEITH EARLS 6

A complete livewire when he got on the ball and you sense he was always just an inch away from creating something. But his blocked kick got Munster into bother early in the second half and he’ll curse himself at picking up a yellow card

CASEY LAULALA 7

Toulon’s centre partnership was much heralded but despite Mathieu Basteraud getting man of the match, Munster’s defence held as firm as the could. Would have liked to have made more of an impression going forward but still a decent showing

JAMES DOWNEY 7

Started at a massive tempo and he put in another big display. Big games bring out the best in him. Unlucky to give away one of the penalties that Wilkinson converted in the first half but a very honest effort before being replaced by JJ Hanrahan. Likely to be his last European Cup game for Munster

SIMON ZEBO 9

A brilliant tackle prevented Toulon scoring a try early in the second half and then he did brilliantly to score one for Munster shortly after. Lively from the very start when he made a big impression on Munster’s restarts. A fine showing

IAN KEATLEY 8

All season we’ve asked questions of him. Yesterday he turned in a great display. Very good re-starts, kicked his penalties brilliantly and also put in one lovely grubber in the first half. Kicked one out on the full in the second half but this game showed he’s well up to this level

CONOR MURRAY 7

A hugely important player for Munster. Maybe not as prominent as he was against Toulouse but he still kicked well on occasion and di very well for Zebo’s try

DAVE KILCOYNE 7

Up against a world-class operator in All Black Carl Hayman but despite a slow start he grew into the game as it went on. Replaced by James Cronin in the second half

DAMIEN VARLEY 7

Captain for the day and put in a massive amount of work - and discussion with referee Wayne Barners. Lineout was good for the most part. Replaced late on by Duncan Casey

BJ BOTHA 8

Munster’s scrum settled down after a questionable start and Botha was still going strong at the end, even on hand to make a big carry. An ever-important part of Munster’s set piece

DAVE FOLEY 7

It has been some season for the Tipperary man. After he flourished against Ulster in Ravenhill just after Christmas, he has been Paul O’Connell’s partner in all the big games - in Kingsholm, in Thomond and in Marseille. Another good showing here before making way for Donncha O’Callaghan

PAUL O’CONNELL 8

Apart from one incident in the first half where he was stranded on the wing, he again set the standard for Munster. Cute as a fox at times and worth his weight in gold

CJ STANDER 7

Not as influential as he was against Toulouse but he still got through a mountain of work. Lost possession that led to one of Toulon’s penalties in the first half but putting Stefon Armitage on his backside was a memorable moment

SEAN DOUGALL 7

A surprise inclusion ahead of Tommy O’Donnell but Dougall had a voracious appetite for work in the first half before being called ashore for O’Donnell in the second

JAMES COUGHLAN 8

Will be disgusted with himself for fumbling a restart that Jonny Wilkinson punished with a drop goal but he more than made up for it. A tower of strength for Munster - his block on Wilkinson in the second half was exceptional