Munster unable to set up all Ireland Champions Cup final

A view of the captain's run

Munster huddle up at the Stade Chaban Delmas yesterday. Source Dan Sheridan INPHO

It took time for Van Graan's side to get into the game, the heat may have played a part in that, as the red team were ripped apart by Teddy Thomas, scoring twice, and Maxime Machenaud also touching down in the opening 40 minutes.

It looked ominous for Munster when they fell behind after just four minutes.

Runners-up in 2016, the French giants will meet unbeaten Leinster in the decider in Bilbao in three weeks' time, while Munster return to domestic matters after suffering a stinging sixth European semi-final defeat since 2009.

Racing only got one score in the second half - a Machenaud penalty.

With an enormous number of fans making the journey to Bordeaux, it seemed at times that Munster had wrenched the home-nation advantage away from the French side Racing 92. Roughly 75 minutes had gone on the clock and Munster led in Paris, 17-16.

The visitors conceded three tries in the first 21 minutes and could make no impact on the Top 14 side, except for a solitary Ian Keatley penalty.

Simon Zebo was introduced from the bench and it was the Cork man who touched down after a sustained period of attacking the Racing line.

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The most prestigious of those came from one of the best players the game has ever seen in Dan Carter.

"[I'm] bitterly disappointed for the lads, I know how much it means to them".

All of the damage was done at the start of the first half, Thomas crossed the line on five and 18 minutes after taking advantage of some poor Munster tackling on the right wing.

Simon Zebo, Rhys Marshall and Andrew Conway scored consolation tries in the second half for the visitors but the tie was done and dusted at that stage.

Munster hit back with a penalty but Thomas touched down in nearly identical position just minutes later with the added points putting them 14-3 clear after the opening quarter. "I've been really impressed with Racing".

Munster were penalised for holding on and Racing kicked the three points.

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