| 14.3°C Dublin

Penney praises 'mature' Keatley

MUNSTER coach Rob Penney was quick to praise the way his understrength side carved out a 23-18 win at Murrayfield on Saturday night.

A hat-trick from winger Tim Visser should probably have been enough for Edinburgh to repeat last year's success over Munster, but the creativity of new centres James Downey and Casey Laulala proved decisive.

"We worked up some things during the week and I thought the boys played a lot of rugby, which was pleasing," said the former Canterbury coach. "We reduced the amount of unforced errors, which we had been guilty of in pre- season and I thought we defended with a massive amount of determination.

"I suppose the most pleasing aspect is that we leave here with a degree of confidence in what we are trying to do. The boys are pretty chuffed with themselves which is a great spur for them."

A cultured performance from Ian Keatley was also key to the Munster victory and his try before half-time was a real turning point as Munster somehow went in level at 10-10 after he gathered Doug Howlett's chip over the top.

Penney said: "I thought Ian - without pre-empting anything - showed a great deal of maturity and that's what we are looking for from a young 10: that he is able to guide your team around the park and do the basics well. A lot of credit to the young man, he has shown a lot of fortitude and his perseverance is starting to pay off."

The key score of the game came from Luke O'Dea towards the end of the third quarter. Downey managed a superb offload in the tackle to send O'Dea through the gap and the promising winger sped through the cover to open a seven-point gap.

After O'Dea's try, Keatley landed his third penalty, before Visser completed his hat-trick with six minutes remaining to give Munster some moments for concern late on.


Privacy