And as the game approached the end of normal time, Kenny Smith's four penalties juxtaposed with those from Laurent Labit, looked good enough to see them through.
But, in what was to become a feature of subsequent Munster Heineken Cup matches, the end-game drama stole the headlines.
Six minutes into added time, Castres looked to have blown their chance with a knock-on close to the Munster line. Referee David Davies (Wales) seemed to be allowing advantage when David Corkery picked and drove out of defence. But when Corkery lost possession, centre Nicolas Combs gathered to score the game's only try.
Labit added the conversion that was of no consequence other than to drive the dagger of disappointment ever deeper into Munster hearts.
It was to be the first of ten meeting's between the sides over the course of the following ten years.
Munster (v Castres, November 1995). Pat Murray capt; Richard Wallace, Sean MacCahill, Dan Larkin, Ken Smith; Paul Burke (Brian Walsh), David O'Mahony; John Fitzgerald, Terry Kingston, Peter Clohessy; Gabriel Fulcher, Paul O'Connor; Mick Galwey (Brian Toland temp), Anthony Foley, David Corkery (Brian Toland temp).