Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - RUGBY -

15 SI­MON ZEBO 6.5 His form in red has been stel­lar all sea­son long and he was once more to the fore. Con­sis­tently threat­ened when in pos­ses­sion, pos­si­bly Mun­ster’s most dan­ger­ous, but de­fen­sive frail­ties were again man­i­fest.

2 NIALL SCAN­NELL 6.5 Sara­cens’ line-out threats of Itoje, Kruis, and Rhodes would’ve had Scan­nell in their sights from a long way out, and the pres­sure was on. A cou­ple of over-throws, but, a solid over­all game, com­posed and de­ter­mined.

14 AN­DREW CON­WAY 7.5 Has made se­ri­ous strides this sea­son and this per­for­mance was typ­i­cal of what has gone be­fore. Hard-work­ing and close to er­ror-free, he was strong un­der the high ball, from both sides; muchim­proved player.

3 JOHN RYAN 7 Like so many, has ma­tured im­mea­sur­ably this sea­son — this was an­other typ­i­cally unas­sum­ing and ef­fec­tive per­for­mance. Mako Vunipola proved a hand­ful but was man­aged well; con­trib­uted ef­fec­tively in the loose too.

13 JACO TAUTE 5.5 A key cog for Eras­mus and his phys­i­cal­ity and abra­sive­ness have been cen­tral to Mun­ster’s at­tack­ing ef­forts. Failed to im­pose him­self in in­tensely com­pet­i­tive mid­field; sub­sti­tuted af­ter 55 min­utes.

4 DONNACHA RYAN 7 The type of oc­ca­sion, and op­po­si­tion, that he rel­ishes. Against Itoje and Kruis his workrate and phys­i­cal­ity were ab­so­lutely essen­tial and he matched his op­po­nents with his in­ten­sity in most facets.

12 RORY SCAN­NELL 6 An­other emerg­ing Mun­ster ‘rookie’ this sea­son; grossly un­der-utilised as a sec­ond dis­trib­u­tor and kick­ing op­tion out­side Bleyen­dall, and was an­other ca­su­alty of the su­perbly-or­gan­ised Sara­cens de­fence.

5 BILLY HOL­LAND 7 A big op­por­tu­nity against a top-class pair­ing and he was vis­i­bly up for it. A leader from early on and what’s lack­ing in terms of nat­u­ral ath­leti­cism is made up for in ap­pli­ca­tion and com­mit­ment. Solid line-out op­tion too.

11 KEITH EARLS 7 Like Zebo, his Lions omis­sion may have stung but he car­ried his Six Na­tions form into this one. Al­ways hun­gry, he brought a real phys­i­cal­ity to his match-up with Chris Ashton and car­ried into, and through, con­tact strongly.

6 PETER O’MA­HONY 7.5 If Stander catches the eye, O’Ma­hony is the heart­beat. A con­stant thorn in the side of any Sara­cen in play and at the break­down and char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally im­pres­sive at the line-out. Out­stand­ing workrate and lead­er­ship.

10 TYLER BLEYEN­DALL 6 An un­der­stated pres­ence usu­ally but was ef­fec­tively shut out by the claus­tro­pho­bic Sara­cens de­fence and never man­aged to as­sert him­self in the man­ner re­quired of a game man­ag­ing out-half.

8 CJ STANDER 7.5 His clash with Billy Vunipola was al­ways go­ing to be box­of­fice and it seemed that CJ was at times met by most of the Sar­ries pack. His abil­ity to sus­tain the in­ten­sity of his car­ries over the full 80 con­tin­ues to im­press.

9 DUN­CAN WIL­LIAMS 6.5 The big­gest game of his ca­reer to date and, hav­ing stepped up against Toulouse in the quar­ter-fi­nal, did so again. A cou­ple of lapses but kicked well gen­er­ally op­po­site one of the best around in Wig­glesworth.

7 TOMMY O’DON­NELL 7 Up against an un­der­rated but chal­leng­ing op­er­a­tor in Wray, he played like a true tra­di­tional open­side. One of the few Mun­ster for­wards whose nat­u­ral ath­leti­cism was more than a match for his op­po­site num­ber.

1 DAVE KIL­COYNE 6.5 Scrum was key fo­cus for both sides and de­spite con­ced­ing a cou­ple of penal­ties, put in a rea­son­able shift against a tough op­er­a­tor in Koch. His car­ry­ing is a key weapon. Ef­fec­tive if not sub­tle.

RASSIE ERAS­MUS 8 A Euro­pean semi-fi­nal, if of­fered last Au­gust would have been grabbed with­out he­si­ta­tion. Ex­tracts the max­i­mum from his play­ers — the acid test of any coach. A re­mark­able sea­son for the South African.

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