Search icon


27th May 2023

“We did it the hard way” – Munster stun Stormers to claim United Rugby Championship title

Patrick McCarry



Munster have ended 12 years of trophy-less hurt with a stunning URC Final win in Cape Town, over Stormers. Our full Munster player ratings are littered with lads who left everything out there.

Manie Libbok opened the scoring for Stormers after intercepting a rash Antoine Frisch offload attempt. He raced free and dotted down under the posts, making the conversion simpler for himself.

Munster roared back and scored off a rolling maul, through Diarmuid Barron, but had three other tries ruled out on Television Match Official reviews in the first 30 minutes.

Stormers were celebrating holding Munster scoreless when Evan Roos was in the sin-bin, only for Jack Crowley and Calvin Nash to link up for this beauty, not long after he had returned to the field. Stormers turned down two penalty kicks for the posts and were made to regret it as Munster held strong in the closing stages of the first half. HALF-TIME: Stormers 7-12v Munster

Stormers come raging back

The second half saw Stormers swing the lustier blows, early on. Mike Haley made a try-saving tackle but was yellow-carded, not long after. Stormers made the man advantage count to pile over with an attacking maul finished off by Deon Fourie.

That try, converted at an acute angle by Manie Libbok, made it 14-12 to the home side but Munster were not done yet.

Gavin Coombes blocked down a clearing kick and Munster won possession inside the Stormers half. After waves of attack, John Hodnett got over in the corner and the winning score was converted for good measure.

Munster held out to claim their first piece of silverware in 12 years.


15. Mike Haley – 9

Had a try chalked off for an O’Mahony forward pass. Made a try-saving tackle in the second half. Yellow-carded for taking out Davids after his kick.

14. Calvin Nash – 8

Took his try really well and got plenty of hard-earned metres up that right wing. One poor kick out on the full.

13. Antoine Frisch – 7

His risky offload, as he was falling, was intercepted by Libbok for the Stormers’ opening try. Keeps the ball alive in the most improbable of circumstances.

12. Malakai Fekitoa – 8

A shame he is one season and done at Munster. A superb game from the All Blacks (and Tonga) star. All action.

11. Shane Daly – 7

Had a try chalked off when Frisch was deemed to have knocked on. 63 metres made off seven carries.

10. Jack Crowley – 8

Lovely, bold kick for an attacking lineout that resulted in a try. Passing was so crisp and smart. Great kick for the Nash try.

9. Conor Murray – 8

Started superbly and had his pack humming. His kicking and game management was on-point in the first half. Faded before being replaced by Casey.

Munster player ratings

1. Jeremy Loughman – 7

A solid outing from the loosehead. Unlucky to be pinged at one attacking maul.

2. Diarmuid Barron – 8

Powered over for the first Munster try, off a rolling maul. Huge poach inside his 22 when Munster were under the pump.

3. Stephen Archer – 7

Dogged stuff from the tighthead.

4. Jean Kleyn – 8

Unreal maul defence and was in the wars.

5. Tadhg Beirne – 8

Neck deep in the trenches all day. Couple of good turnover attempts were not recognised by the ref. Won the final turnover, though. Of course he did.

6. Peter O’Mahony – 6

Almost a moment of magic but his no-look offload to Daly was deemed forward. Went off for a HIA after a worrying collision. Made 35 metres off six tackles before a head injury ended his involvement, before half-time.

7. John Hodnett – 9

Made a great, early carry. Won his side a penalty after Stormers scored the first try. On the left wing to score the try that put Munster in front at the end.

8. Gavin Coombes – 7

Denied a try, after 19 minutes, when the TMO review ruled a double movement. Had a tough breakdown penalty called against him. Costly knock-on in the final 10 minutes. Huge kick charged down to set off the attack that led to Hodnett’s score.


RG Snyman (for O’Mahony ’36) – 8

Imperious at the lineout. Hopefully back for a good run next season.

Roman Salanoa (for Archer) – 6

Niall Scannell (for Barron) – 7

Ben Healy (for Frisch) – 7

Josh Wycherley (for Loughman) – 6

Alex Kendellen (for Kleyn) – 6

Keith Earls (for Nash) – 6


Related Articles:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge