Sunday 18 August 2019

Keatley keeps his cool and kicks Munster to victory

Edinburgh 14 Munster 16

Ian Keatley scored 11 points for Munster
Ian Keatley scored 11 points for Munster
Jack O'Donoghue is tackled by Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Cornell Du Preez of Edinburgh
Munster's Keith Earls is tackled by Tom Brown

Alan Lorimer

Munster marched to their ­seventh win from eight matches in the Guinness Pro12 after achieving a ­narrow win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield thanks in no small part to the accurate goal-kicking of Ian Keatley.

However, the Munster men had to endure a fraught final few minutes when Edinburgh came desperately close to salvaging the match but in the end the home side, who gave away far too many penalties, were unable to break down the visitors' determined defence.

Munster's early pressure from good use of the boot by outhalf Keatley resulted in a try after eight minutes following a free kick and then surges to the line by ­Gerhard van den Heever and Dave Kilcoyne before John Ryan crossed from close range, Keatley converting.

A penalty goal by Sam Hidalgo-Clyne gave Edinburgh their first points and then a further setback for Munster followed when Van den Heever was sin-binned for tackling Greig Tonks in the air.

It appeared to affect Munster little, as the visitors applied pressure on Edinburgh almost resulting in a try for Keith Earls from a delicate chip by Conor Murray. But there was a tangible reward minutes later, a second ­successful kick by Keatley to reopen the seven-point gap.

Edinburgh mounted a sustained ­attack before half-time and were rewarded with a second penalty goal by Hidalgo-Clyne to bring the interval score to 6-10.

Munster's lead was soon wiped out by a try from Edinburgh's centre Will Helu after a defence-splitting run by winger Damien Hoyland. Hidalgo Clyne's ­conversion rebounded off the near upright but the Edinburgh scrumhalf had better luck with a penalty attempt after Francis Saili was yellow-carded for deliberately slowing down ball.

Edinburgh's lead was reduced to one point by a Keatley penalty goal. The Munster outhalf then proved his worth with a massive kick from just inside the Edinburgh half to regain the lead for his side with the scoreline at 14-16.

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Despite losing Tonks to the sin-bin, Edinburgh all but hit back after ­Holland intercepted on his side's 22-metre line before carving his way through the ­Munster ­defence, but when the ball was ­transferred to wing Tom Brown the ­visitors' had regrouped and the way to the line was barred, leaving the visitors winners by a small margin.

Scorers - Munster: J Ryan try, I Keatley 3 pens, con; Edinburgh: Helu try, Hidalgo-Clyne 3 pens.

Munster: S Zebo; G van den Heever, K Earls, F Saili, R O'Mahony; I Keatley, C Murray; D Kilcoyne (J Cronin 48), D Casey, J Ryan, D Ryan, D Foley, D O'Callaghan (J Coughlan 63), J O'Donoghue, CJ Stander.

Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; D Hoyland, W Helu, M Scott, T Brown; G Tonks, S Hidalgo-Clyne; A Dickinson, R Ford, WP Nel (J Andress 60), A Bresler, A Toolis, M Coman (N Manu 67), H Watson, C Du Preez.

Referee: D Wilkinson (IRFU)

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