Quins survive Easter red to win in Limerick

Munster 12 Harlequins 20

Conor O'Shea hailed his Harlequins after they became the second side in 16 years to win a European tie at Thomond Park. First-half tries from the lock George Robson and scrum-half Danny Care sent the English club into the Amlin Challenge Cup final, in which they will face Stade Français in Cardiff on 20 May.

Munster rallied through tries from Felix Jones and Doug Howlett but the Irish province lost a fourth semi-final in a row. Even a red card for the England No 8, Nick Easter, with 10 minutes left – for a second yellow – could not stop Quins, who followed Leicester (in 2006) in beating the Red Army in Limerick.

O'Shea, their director of rugby, said: "I could not be prouder of the boys. I always believed we had that sort of performance in us. This proves that we can deliver on the big occasion and now we have a shot at silverware and qualifying for next season's Heineken Cup. It's from wins like this that we can move the club forward."

Easter had said that a victory here would be the "biggest" result in Quins' 145-year history, and they began with attacking intent which was rewarded by Robson's ninth-minute try. The wing Gonzalo Camacho beat Paul Warwick and Howlett down the left and as Munster struggled to regroup the ball was worked across the field for Robson to crash over. Nick Evans kicked the conversion but the New Zealand fly-half was off-colour and he missed penalties on 26 and 28 minutes.

Evans had picked up a knee injury and the full-back, Mike Brown, took over temporarily at No 10. He was held up short of the line and after Evans showed courage to go close, Care burrowed over. The television match official said he had enough downward pressure on the ball.

Munster scored seconds before half-time, when Jones took Warwick's pass to touch down, and Ronan O'Gara's conversion reduced the deficit to seven at the break. The home side brought on Paul O'Connell but Romain Poite then sent his second-row partner, Donncha O'Callaghan, and Easter to the sin-bin following a scuffle on the floor. That allowed Rory Clegg to kick a 49th-minute penalty and the replacement fly-half kicked another shortly before the hour.

Poite disallowed two tries for forward passes before Easter was dismissed for his second offence of the half, this time diving in at the side of a ruck. Howlett scored with seconds remaining.

O'Shea said: "We knew we'd have to ride our luck at times but when Chris [Robshaw] won the toss and opted to play into the wind, that showed the belief in the side. The talk during the week was that we would come over here, roll over and have our tummies tickled but that was never going to happen. We would not be cowards. The players deserve to celebrate tonight."

Munster's coach, Tony McGahan, said: "We were terribly disappointing but full credit to Harlequins. They had a game plan, were outstanding at the breakdown and in defence and deserved the win. Does that make Harlequins favourites against Stade Français? They have certainly got a great opportunity if they play with the same spirit and execution as they did against us."

Munster F Jones; D Howlett, L Mafi, P Warwick (S Tuitupou, 40), K Earls (J Murphy, 64); R O'Gara (capt), C Murray (P Stringer, 56); W du Preez (M Horan, 56), D Varley (M Sherry, 73), T Buckley (J Hayes, 40), D O'Callaghan (D Ryan, 68), M O'Driscoll (P O'Connell, 40), D Leamy, J Coughlan, D Wallace.

Harlequins M Brown; G Camacho, G Lowe, J Turner-Hall, U Monye; N Evans (R Clegg, 40), D Care; J Marler (C Jones, 65), J Gray, J Johnston, O Kohn (T Vallejos-Cinalli, 72), G Robson, M Fa'asavalu, N Easter, C Robshaw (capt).

Referee R Poite (France).

Munster

Tries: Jones, Howlett

Con: O'Gara

Harlequins

Tries: Robson, Care

Cons: Evans, Care

Pens: Clegg 2

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform