Date Time Competition Season
1 April 2023 12:30 pm European Champions Cup 2022/23

Match Report

Sharks Feast As They Advance To Champions Cup Quarter Finals

A blistering second half performance saw the Cell C Sharks advance to the next round of the Champions Cup, as they ran riot over Munster in South Africa.

The hosts took the game and ran with it in an explosive second half that Munster did come back into late on but the damage was done, eight tries scored in the second half but Munster unable to compete.

A tough day in sweltering heat for Munster, the Sharks powerful and dynamic in their play, will be a test for any side in this competition.

It was all the Sharks in the early exchanges, putting a serious amount of pressure they really tested and asked questions of that Minster defence but they held firm, that was until Jean Kleyn infringed and Munster coughed up possession, a penalty for the hosts that Curwin Bosch would land without fail.

Munster’s reply was swift and emphatic, Gavin Coombes starting the break with some space, he offloaded to the left flank for Shane Daly and he did what he does best using his pace to race for the line to get over, it looked like he may not have grounded it but after the debates it was given and once Jack Crowley added the extra two it was a 7-3 lead for Munster.

Bosch tried to reduce that gap a minute later, trying an audacious penalty attempt at the posts from at least 50 metres out, probably was better to go for the corner from where he struck it as it sailed to the left and wide, would have needed an all merciful boot to score.

Munster had relief as Jaden Hendriske knocked on as the hosts at a scrum five short of the line, however the press minutes later resulted in a score, Makazola Mapimpi produced a brilliant step to evade a handful of Munster defenders before offloading to Jaden Hendrikse, who had the legs to get over for their opening try, Bosch making it 10-7 from the tee.

As we ticked past the halfway mark in the half it was still all the Sharks, despite a terrific kick by Crowley into the Sharks 22, they were unable to create chances, at the other end a lineout from the hosts allowed them to build the phases and Munster's rearguard were outdone, Eben Etzebeth opted to pick and go, bulldozing through RG Snyman to cross, referee Wayne Barnews was looking at a possible double movement, but after the check it was good and Bosch made it a ten point gap.

Munster were still in the tie and Calvin Nash showed his quality evading the tackles as he charged for the line, he was held short but Rohan Janse van Rensburg knocked on and Munster were awarded a dangerous scrum.

As the Sharks were now pegged back inside their 22, Munster could now build a solid attack as the size advantage  was an issue, however the Munster forwards notably Niall Scannellwere not backing down as they scratched and clawed their way to the try line, held shy until Dave Kilcoyne pumped the legs to cross, game back on as Crowley made it a three point game on the half hour mark, 17-14 the score they would take to the break.

The second half was all one way traffic and that was for the hosts, just five minutes into the restart, Munster conceded three penalties in quick succession and the Sharks took full advantage, working their way up the pitch, their lineout formed well and from the resulting maul, Bongi Mbonambi crossed for their third try, Bosch making it 24-14.

Five minutes later they were in again, yet again more ill-discipline cost Munster as the Sharks kicked for the corner again and set up another lineout drive, same result as what happened minutes earlier, with Mbonambi crashing over for his second, Bosch conversion struck the upright but a healthy lead at that stage as they were ahead 29-14.

The hosts were running riot, in the 54th minute shortly after they had done some showboating that easily could have led to a try, but Werner Kok was out wide and he cut inside to score their fifth try, Bosch converted and then it looked a guarantee a spot in the Quarter-Finals was there as Bosch gathered and raced down the touchline to score the next try, converting as the Sharks leading 43-14.

After the hour mark Munster showed life as Diarmuid Barron gor over for their third try, but as Munster poured bodies forward, Makazola Mapimpi led a devastating counter attack that saw him dot down under the posts, 50-21 as Bosch converted game over.

Mike Haley added a fourth try for Munster with a terrific try as he evaded a series of tackles to get over, a seventh try of the second half but Munster needed many more to come back, they added a late try from Fineen Wycherley but it was not enough, they bow out after a tough day at the office.


15Boeta Chamberlain 23 Fly-Half
14Werner Kok Winger 54'
13Lukhanyo Am Centre
12Rohan Janse van Rensburg 22 Centre
11Makazole Mapimpi Winger 65'
10Curwin Bosch Fly-Half 57'
17', 26', 46', 55', 58', 66'
9Jaden Hendrikse 21 Scrum-Half 16'
1Ox Nche 17 Prop
2Bongi Mbonambi 16 Hooker 45', 50'
3Thomas du Toit 18 Prop
4Eben Etzebeth 19 Lock 25'
5Gerbrandt Grobler Lock
6Siya Kolisi Flanker
7Vincent Tshituka Flanker
8Sikhumbuzo Notshe No. 8
16Kerron van Vuuren 2 Hooker
17Ntuthuko Mchunu 1 Prop
18Carlu Sadie 3 Prop
19Emile van Heerden 20 Flanker
20Phepsi Buthelezi 19 Flanker
21Grant Williams 9 Scrum-Half
22Ben Tapuai 12
23Thaakir Abrahams 15


15Mike Haley Full-Back 68'
14Calvin Nash Winger
13Antoine Frisch Centre
12Malakai Fekitoa Centre
11Shane Daly 22 Winger 6'
10Jack Crowley Fly-Half 7', 33', 62', 69', 79'
9Craig Casey 21 Scrum-Half
1Dave Kilcoyne 17 Prop 32'
2Niall Scannell 16 Hooker
3Roman Salanoa 18 Prop
4Jean Kleyn Lock
5RG Snyman 19 Lock
6Peter O’Mahony 20 Flanker
7John Hodnett Flanker
8Gavin Coombes 23 No. 8
16Diarmuid Barron 2 Hooker 61'
17Josh Wycherley 1 Prop
18Stephen Archer 3 Prop
19Fineen Wycherley 5 Lock 78'
20Jack O’Donoghue 6 Flanker
21Conor Murray 9 Scrum-Half
22Joey Carbery 11 Fly-Half
23Alex Kendellen 8 No. 8

Past Meetings

(Round 1)
42 - 17
United Rugby Championship
Thomond Park

Munster v Cell C Sharks


Jonsson King's Park Stadium
Jonsson Kings Park, Isaiah Ntshangase Road, eThekwini Ward 27, Durban, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, 4056, South Africa

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.