Paris - Irish province Munster severely
dented the hopes of Stade Francais of reaching the European Champions Cup
quarter-finals with a 26-13 home win over the French champions on Saturday.
The bonus point win was just their second
success of the pool stages and leaves them in third place with 10 points.
Stade were left stranded on 14 points, four
behind Leicester who were expected to pick up maximum points later Saturday at
home to Treviso and clinch qualification.
The French side would then have to defeat
Leicester in Paris in the final pool game to have any chance of advancing as
one of the best runner-up teams.
Munster had the best of a physical first
half at Thomond Park, scoring two tries to nil as Stade Francais struggled to
The first came after 32 minutes when hooker
Mike Sherry powered over after an impressive driving line-out, while the second
was a solo effort from centre Keith Earls on the stroke of half-time, bursting
through a gap in the Stade ranks from the halfway line and sliding in under a
The French had only two Morne Steyn
penalties to show for their efforts as Munster turned with a 12-6 lead and
things went from bad to worse for the visitors one minute into the second half.
Flyhalf Ian Keatley was the architect
sending through an inch-perfect chip for winger Simon Zebo to collect and score
between the posts.
Stade were guilty of squandering several
good scoring opportunities due to turnovers, but they got themselves back into
the game with 17 minutes to go.
There looked to be little danger to the
home side before an overthrown line-out in their own half was gobbled up by
flank Jonjo Jones who thundered in under the posts from 25 yards out.
The door was briefly open for Stade but
three minutes later it shut again as the Munster pack bossed their way forward
and South African flank and club skipper CJ Stander muscled his way over after
Connor Murray took a quick tap.
The French side went out in search of a
second try that would have given them a defensive bonus point but they came up
In Saturday's other early game Bordeaux
edged Exeter 34-27 in a Pool 2 thriller.