21st Jan, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Wasps beaten by Covid ravaged Munster in Europe after first-half Shields red card

WASPS began their European Champions Cup campaign with a 35-14 defeat against Munster after captain Brad Shields was critically sent off in the first half.

 

Shields was dismissed on 24 minutes after he was deemed to catch Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne with a high tackle on the neck following a lengthy TMO review.

 

And that decision turned the game in the Irish side’s favour as they scored four tries to Wasps’ two to claim a bonus point win at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

 

Alfie Barbeary and Michael Le Bourgeois touched down for Lee Blackett’s side who were given a Covid scare the day before when several players returned false-positive tests.

 

Munster had their own Covid issues to overcome with 48 players and staff missing following an ill-fated trip to South Africa.

 

Keith Earls, Patrick Campbell, Andrew Conway and Scott Buckley all crossed for the visitors with Joey Carbery adding 15 points from the kicking tee.

 

The defeat means Wasps have now lost their last six games in all competitions.

 

Carbery kicked Munster into the lead before Shields was given his marching orders by referee Romain Poite with the former adding another three points shortly after.

 

However, despite being a man down, Wasps scored the game’s first try on 31 minutes when Barbeary finished a flowing move which was converted by Jimmy Gopperth to turn the game on its head.

 

Irish wing Earls restored Munster’s lead three minutes later when he touched down from Connor Murray’s chip.

 

And Wasps ended the half with 13 players after Dan Frost was sent to the sin bin for going off his feet at the breakdown.

 

Munster utilised their two-man advantage when Campbell crossed on his debut after 42 minutes before Conway picked up a loose ball to score five minutes later.

 

And the Irish province secured a bonus point on 56 minutes when hooker Buckley finished from a well-worked lineout on debut.

 

Wasps scored the game’s final try on 63 minutes when Le Bourgeois burst through a gap in the Munster defence to touch down with Gopperth again converting.

 

Wasps continue their European campaign away at reigning champions Toulouse on Sunday, December 19 with kick-off at 3.15pm at Stade Ernest-Wallon.

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