Limerick Rugby

Eight wins on the trot as Munster edge out Edinburgh

Edinburgh 26, Munster 29
Hive Stadium, Edinburgh

ANOTHER impressive performance by Graham Rowntree’s side tonight in Hive Stadium as Munster continue their march towards retention of their URC title. It was not easy for them with a few injuries during the game reflecting the intensity of the tie. One particular flash point envolved RG Snyman locking horns with the Scotish’s side Ben Healy who had just cleared the ball soon after the restart. After this game there is a rest week for the Munster squad and they can now have some rest time to prepare for their final league game in Thomond Park against Ulster.

It took only six minutes for Edinburgh to get the first score, Ben Healy kicking a penalty, but it was against the run of play with Munster going close to get over the line at the other end of the field. The home side stood up to another few phases and they went 6-0 ahead when Healy added a second three pointer. The holders were slow to get their running game going but when they did, Antoine Frisch scored a brilliant individual try when he collected his kick to touchdown but Crowley missed the conversion. Munster lost their full back Mike Haley with a head injury and he was replaced by Rory Scannell before the home side went 9-5 in front thanks to a third penalty by Healy.

The visitors went 16-5 in arrears on 25 minutes after Munster failed to clear the ball near their line, Mark Bennett getting over and Healy landing his fourth kick at the posts. A clever kick by Rory Scannell set up a period of pressure on the home line which resulted with Antoine Frisch finishing off a nice passing movement but Jack Crowley’s conversion went wide.

The second half was hardly underway when Munster notched another try, Casey sending Crowley in for try number three and also adding the conversion to put his side 16-19 in front. RG Snyman was hardly on the field when he made a fine break but his accuracy failed him and the chance was lost. The battle of the out-halves continued with Ben Healy levelling it at 19-19 on 46 minutes with a penalty but the crucial score of this thriller came on 53 minutes when Gavin Coombes dotted down, Crowley’s conversion put his side 19-26 ahead. Edinburgh were stung into action and after a lengthy delay with the TMO they were awarded a try which Healy converted with ease to level the tie at 26-26. The more experienced Munster took over from there on with Crowley kicking what proved to be the winning three pointer and from there to the finish they ensured that they kept the ball in the opposing territory from there to the final whistle.

So Munster march on. It was their eighth win on the trot in this competition and another winning bonus point ensures that they will have home advantage in the play-offs.

Edinburgh Rugby: Wes Goosen, Matt Currie, Mark Bennett, James Lang, Duhan van der Merwe, Ben Healy, Ben Vellacott (co/capt,), Pierre Schoeman, Ewan Ashman, WP Nel, Sam Skinner, Grant Gilchrist (co/capt), Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata.
Replacements: Dave Cherry, Boan Venter, Javan Sebastian, Marshall Sykes, Luke Crosbie, Ali Price, Cammy Scott, Chris Dean
Munster: Mike Haley, Calvin Nash, Antoine Frisch, Alex Nankivell, Shane Daly, Jack Crowley, Craig Casey, Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell, Oli Jager; Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne (CAPT), Jack O’Donoghue, Alex Kendellen, Gavin Coombes
Replacements: Eoghan Clarke, Mark Donnelly, John Ryan, RG Snyman, Tom Ahern,
Conor Murray, Rory Scannell, Brian Gleeson.
Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR, 32nd league game)

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