Thursday 22 August 2019

Munster rev up for Europe with narrow victory at Murrayfield

Edinburgh 14 Munster 16

Munster's Jack O'Donoghue attempts to force his way through both Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Cornell Du Preez
Munster's Jack O'Donoghue attempts to force his way through both Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Cornell Du Preez
Munster's Keith Earls is tackled by Tom Brown

Alan Lorimer

Munster survived a late challenge from Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield for a narrow win and a sixth result from seven matches for Anthony Foley's men that puts the Thomond Park team second in the Guinness Pro12 table.

Leading 16-14 as the match approached full-time, Munster gave Edinburgh's wing Damien Hoyland an easy interception and with it a shift of play from one end of the park to the other.

Munster's scramble defence prevented what seemed a likely try in the corner but from the resultant phases the Edinburgh forwards hammered at their opponents' line before scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne attempted a winning drop goal. The kick was charged down and immediately the referee blew for full-time.

"I'm very relieved now but I thought we were well worth our win." admitted Munster head coach Anthony Foley. "Towards the end of the match we wrestled the game back from them. We had a five-metre scrum and the referee calls a free-kick. We should have parked up there for the remainder of the game. But we threw an intercept when we should have kicked it out of the stadium." observed Foley.


The match was just seven minutes old when Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn slid into touch in goal when dealing with a clever grubber kick resulting in a five-metre scrum.

Two plays later Edinburgh's defence failed to stop prop forward John Ryan who dotted down at the foot of the left-hand post, leaving Ian Keatley with the easiest of conversion kicks.

Edinburgh's dynamic start to the second half brought a rapid result when Cornell du Preez sent Hoyland scorching up the right flank before the ball was moved quickly to Brown who popped the ball up to Will Helu for the Tongan to dive over in the corner.

If that score helped Edinburgh's confidence then so did a long-range miss at goal by Keatley and Munster's indiscipline which reduced the visitors to 14 men for the second time, centre Francis Saili the culprit who gave Hidalgo-Clyne his third success in front of the posts for a 14-10 lead.

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But when Ross Ford conceded a penalty in the shadow of his own posts Keatley delivered the points.

Then after prop John Andress conceded another, Keatley once again showed his kicking prowess.

EDINBURGH - B Kinghorn (D Fife 54) ; D Hoyland, W Helu (A Strauss 78), 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 (R Grant 73), C Du Preez.

MUNSTER - S Zebo; G van den Heever (D Hurley 70), K Earls, F Saili, R O'Mahony; I Keatley, C Murray; D Kilcoyne (J Cronin 48), D Casey (N Scannell 67), J Ryan (M Sagario 56), D Ryan, D Foley, D O'Callaghan (J Coughlan 63), J O'Donoghue (R Copeland 70), CJ Stander.

REF - David Wilkinson (IRFU)

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