The Durban side entered the clash guaranteed of a quarter-final berth after the DHL Stormers defeated Benetton in Stellenbosch on Friday, but this result left them having to settle for eighth place on the standings.

The Cell C Sharks dominated the first half, creating attacking opportunities at will and this saw them score three tries, while they limited the visitors to a penalty goal for their efforts.

Munster staged a strong fightback in the second half in which they scored two tries to add to a penalty try, while they shut out the Cell C Sharks whose only points were from a penalty goal.

The Durbanites came out firing and threatened to score as early as the fourth minute, but they earned the first points of the match in the sixth minute when Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi broke away from a rolling maul to touch down.

Munster flyhalf Jack Crowley kicked a penalty goal in the 17th minute to open the scoring for the visitors, but that proved to be their only points of the half as the KwaZulu-Natalians defended with determination.

The Irish outfit were dealt a blow in the 29th minute when Shane Daly received a yellow card, and the Cell C Sharks immediately capitalised with wing Werner Kok diving over a minute later, which flyhalf Curwin Bosch converted for a handy 12-3 lead.

The hosts kept the scoreboard ticking as the half progressed with No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe scoring their third try on the stroke of halftime after receiving a well-timed pop pass by Mbonambi from a ruck close to the tryline. The successful conversion by Boeta Chamberlain saw them enter the break 19-3 up.

The hosts again struck first early in the second half with Chamberlain kicking a penalty goal, but they soon found themselves a man down after replacement back Aphelele Fassi received a yellow card for foul play while Munster were on attack close to the tryline, and this resulted in a penalty try to the visitors.

Munster were, however, dealt a blow as their captain Peter O'Mahony received a yellow card for an off-the-ball incident which saw both sides playing with 14 men, but this did not stop them from staging a strong comeback as Calvin Nash touched down soon after to reduce their deficit to seven points.

Munster’s resurgence continued with Conor Murray forcing his way over the line from a rolling maul minutes into the last quarter and the conversion levelled the scores at 22 apiece with 14 minutes left on the clock.

Munster fought until the last minute to snatch a late victory, but they were denied as the Cell C Sharks held them out on defence, which saw the teams draw the match.


Cell C Sharks 22 (19) – Tries: Bongi Mbonambi, Werner Kok, Sikhumbuzo Notshe. Conversions: Curwin Bosch, Boeta Chamberlain. Penalty Goal: Chamberlain.

Munster 22 (3) - Tries: Penalty Try, Calvin Nash, Conor Murray. Conversion: Ben Healy. Penalty goal: Jack Crowley.