Munster's Keith Earls, left, and Donnacha Ryan, of Racing 92, exchange a handshake following Sunday's Champions Cup clash at the U Arena
MUNSTER number eight CJ Stander felt a losing bonus point against Racing 92 at the new U Arena on Sunday amounted to a ‘good day’s work.’
The losing bonus point Munster picked up helped Johann van Graan’s side retain top spot in Pool 4 and the province is safe in the knowledge that a bonus point win over Castres Olympique on Sunday will secure their place in the last eight of the Champions Cup once again.
That Round 6 fixture with Castres will go ahead at Thomond Park at 1pm on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
Number eight CJ Stander said: “Look, I think they started very well. We kept them out of it for a while in the second half, it is a good day’s work, I think
”When you come over here it is always going to be a tough game. They score tries from nothing and we knew that was going to happen.
”Fair play to the boys to stick it out and to Murrs (Conor Murray) for the penalty which put us ahead late on from more than 50 metres. It was exceptional.
”We knew it was going to be a tough one until the end. It would have been great to have secured qualification today, but we know going to Thomond Park to face Castres we have to rectify the mistakes we made the last time against Castres in France.
”Hopefully if we get that win we can finish top of the group.
Asked if he was surprised that Racing opted for a kick at the posts when leading by a point (31-30) late on rather than choose to kick to the corner which may have resulted in a try bonus point, also denying Munster of their losing bonus point, Stander said: “It is a 50/50 call. In my head I was just thinking why we gave that penalty away.
“Look, they made the call, they did it, stuck to it and got the win at the end of the day.”
Former Munster second row Donnacha Ryan turned in a powerhouse display in the Racing 92 engine room.
Afterwards Ryan admitted it felt strange to play against his old team mates.
Ryan said: “We started very well, but knowing the way Munster guys are, they play with all heart and came back very well at the end of the first half.
“We got a bit lucky there towards the end, we just dogged it. It turned into a bit of a dogfight and we were lucky to come out on the right side of it.
”That is a fantastic Munster team and I am really proud of the boys in Racing as well.
”It was really, really weird to play against the lads. You get to understand what some of the guys get to do on the other side of the ruck, anyway, a few things I wouldn’t have known before! No I’m only joking!
“It was good craic out there, very enjoyable.”
Racing travel to Leicester next Sunday in Pool 4.