Out-half Joey Carbery scores a first half try for Munster in their Heineken Champions Cup clash with Exeter Chiefs at Thomond Park on Saturday
MUNSTER Rugby secured their place in the quarter-finals of this season's Heineken Champions Cup after seeing off a gritty Exeter Chiefs side 26-10 in their second leg last 16 tie at Thomond Park on Saturday.
Munster scored crucial tries in either half through Joey Carbery and Damian De Allende late on in front of a delighted attendance of 21,133 to secure a 34-23 aggregate win over their Premiership opponents to book a 19th Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final spot.
Out-half Carbery bagged all Munster's opening 19 points, the out-half finishing with 21 points in all.
Returning captain Peter O'Mahony turned in a Man of the Match display, helping the home side come out on top in the teak tough breakdown battle.
Despite playing into a strong breeze, Munster Rugby led 13-5 at half-time, having overcome their five point deficit from the first leg.
Munster rallied after falling behind to a Sam Maunder try for Exeter early on and the loss of Conor Murray to a yellow card to lead by eight points at the break.
Exeter hit back and a try on after 49 minutes when No 8 Jacques Vermeulen did enough to squeeze over to make it 13-10 and edge them in front by two points on aggregate after Simmonds fluffed the conversion.
Carbery then kicked two penalties goals to push Munster's aggregate lead to four points.
A 74th minute try from De Allende after he linked up with Simon Zebo sealed the win for the home side.
MUNSTER RUGBY: Mike Haley, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Simon Zebo, Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Josh Wycherley, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley, Peter O'Mahony (Capt), John Hodnett, Jack O'Donoghue.
Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer, Jason Jenkins, Thomas Aherne, Craig Casey, Ben Healy, Alex Kendellen,
EXETER CHIEFS: Stuart Hogg, Olly Woodburn, Henry Slade, Ian Whitten, Tom O'Flaherty, Joe Simmonds, Sam Maunder; Alec Hepburn, Jack Yeandle (Capt), Harry Williams, Jonny Gray, Sam Skinner, Dave Ewers, Jannes Kirsten, Jacques Vermeulen.
Replacements: Jack Innard, Billy Keast, Patrick Schickerling, Richard Capstick, Santiago Grondona, Jack Maunder, Tom Gilbert-Hendrickson, Josh Hodge.
REFEREE: Mathieu Raynal (France)
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