European Professional Club Rugby | Key Clashes: Munster and Toulouse in Thrilling Series

Ahead of the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup, we’re looking back at the previous European meetings between sides drawn to face each other. Next, we revisit the eight European Cup contests between Munster Rugby and Stade Toulousain, who clash in Pool B next season.

1996-97 pool stage: Stade Toulousain 60 Munster Rugby 19

The two European heavyweights kicked off their series of bouts with a pool stage encounter in 1996-97, with Toulouse drawing first blood as they ran in nine tries at Stade Ernest-Wallon.

Michel Marfaing grabbed a hat-trick for the hosts, with Emile Ntamack and Christian Califano notching doubles and Stephane Ougier and David Berty one try each. David Corkery went over for a consolidation score for Munster.

1999-2000 semi-finals: Stade Toulousain 25 Munster Rugby 31

Munster avenged that bruising defeat three years later in a monumental last-four clash, beating favorites Toulouse at Stade Chaban-Delmas thanks to tries from Ronan O’Gara, Jason Holland and John Hayes.

Jerome Cazalbou went over for Toulouse, with five penalties from Michel Marfaing helping to keep them in touch, but Munster reigned supreme as they took advantage of ideal conditions for running rugby.

2002–03 semi-finals: Stade Toulousain 13 Munster Rugby 12

After another three-year gap, the sides met again in the semi-finals, with Toulouse getting the better of the Irish province at Stade Municipal thanks to a dramatic late try from Freddy Michalak.

Two penalties and two drop-goals from Ronan O’Gara saw Munster lead 12-6 heading into the final five minutes, but Toulouse, whose earlier scores came through penalties from Yann Delaigue and Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, found a way over out wide and Elissalde held his nerve to clinch victory.

2007–08 final: Munster Rugby 16 Stade Toulousain 13

The duo then added a final showdown to their growing list of high-profile tussles, with Munster triumphing at the Principality Stadium to claim their second European crown.

11 points from the boot of Ronan O’Gara plus a Denis Leamy try proved decisive, with Toulouse narrowly defeated despite Yves Donguy’s score and Jean-Baptiste Elissalde’s eight-point haul.

2013-14 quarter-finals: Munster Rugby 47 Stade Toulousain 23

It was a much more one-sided affair six years later, with Munster racking up six tries at Thomond Park to cruise into the semi-finals.

Keith Earls started the rout with a score on four minutes before Dave Kilcoyne, CJ Stander, Casey Laulala, Simon Zebo and Paul O’Connell all crossed and Ian Keatley tallied 17 points. Toulouse could only manage two second-half tries, through Hosea Gear and Joe Tekori.

2016-17 quarter-finals: Munster Rugby 41 Stade Toulousain 16

Munster produced another brilliant quarter-final display in 2017, booking a 12th European Cup semi-final as tries from John Ryan, CJ Stander, Darren Sweetnam and Andrew Conway did the business at Thomond Park.

Tyler Bleyendaal’s 21 points from the tee were important for Munster as they kept Toulouse at bay, Jean-Marc Doussain’s three first-half penalties and Paul Perez’s score after the break offering the visitors a brief lifeline.

2020-21 Round of 16: Munster Rugby 33 Stade Toulousain 40

An Antoine Dupont try brace and 20 points from Romain Ntamack helped Toulouse to a thrilling win to give themselves some fonder memories of Thomond Park.

Keith Earls’ double saw Munster lead at half-time and although Gavin Coombes went over twice for the hosts in the second period, efforts from Matthis Lebel and Julien Marchand, in addition to Dupont and Ntamack’s contributions, were enough to see Toulouse progress.

2021-22 quarter-finals: Munster Rugby 24 Stade Toulousain 24 (Toulouse win 4-2 on place kicks)

Perhaps the most nail-biting of the two giants’ encounters came last season, with Toulouse making it four wins apiece as they came out on top in a dramatic place-kick competition.

There was nothing to separate the sides after 100 minutes of rugby at the Aviva Stadium, with Alex Kendellen, Keith Earls and Mike Haley crossing for Munster, and Romain Ntamack and Matthis Lebel (2) responding for Toulouse.

With a shoot-out required for just the second time in EPCR competition history, misses from Munster’s Ben Healy and Conor Murray proved crucial, as Thomas Ramos, Antoine Dupont (2) and Ntamack converted for Toulouse.

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