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“He’ll be sorely missed.”

There were emotional scenes at the end of Munster’s Rainbow Cup win over Cardiff Blues as CJ Stander played his last game at Thomond Park.

It was also Tommy O’Donnell and James Cronin’s final time to grace the Limerick pitch, leading to Munster players singing ‘Stand Up and Fight’ on the empty pitch at full-time.

Cj Stander final game

CJ Stander Munster’s captain challenge.

The game wasn’t without drama, with Stander’s captain’s challenge effectively ending the game, much to the annoyance of many watching, including Munster coach Johann van Graan.

With the clock in injury time, Munster led 31-27 and were hanging on when referee Andrew Brace awarded Cardiff a penalty.

However, captain Stander used his challenge, making the argument that Cardiff scrum-half Lloyd Williams had kicked the ball back into the ruck during the previous phase of play.

The referee reviewed the footage before agreeing with Stander, subsequently deciding to blow the full-time whistle.

Munster’s bonus-point win sends them top of the Rainbow Northern Conference and gives them a chance of making the final, needing Benetton to lose to Connacht on Saturday.

Johann van Graan.

The Munster coach was not happy with the challenge rule, despite it sealing a very important win for the Irish province.

“Firstly on the captain’s challenge, you don’t want to end the game like that,” Van Graan told reporters after the game.

“Unfortunately those are the laws currently in the game for this competition, so you’ve got to use it.”

Cj Stander Munster exit

The South African paid tribute to Stander’s career, after another excellent performance from the Irish international.

“On CJ, we got another 80-minute performance from him. He led the team really well, was really good at the base of the scrum and he just kept coming.

“He carried really well, took one huge hit off the kick-off and then the next kick-off he’s back at it again.

“He’ll be sorely missed, as will a lot of big names who have played their final games at Thomond Park for Munster.”

Munster players ‘Stand Up and Fight’.

There were emotional scenes after the game as the Munster players and backroom team, lead a chorus of ‘Stand Up and Fight’.

The Eir Sport commentators went quiet, allowing the TV cameras to pick up the moment.

You can watch the video above or by clicking here.

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