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‘Young Guns’ run out of ammunition with rare Cork defeat

By Aidan Corr
Guinness PRO14 Championship:
Munster 16, Edinburgh 18
AN almost totally home-produced starting line-up came up just short tonight in Irish Independent Park in Cork, when Munster suffered a rare home defeat at the hands of the visiting Scottish side. The result is hardly going to affect the eventual outcome of this Guinness PRO14 Championship but Johaan van Graan will have some positives when his youngsters gather for a match assessment over the coming days.
For much of the game Munster more than held their own against what was regarded as a very strong visiting side. They showed great energy, were very effective at the breakdown and ran the ball well through the hands when they opened up play from deep. Unfortunately the error rate was high, the chase sometimes not efficient enough and in those crucial final ten minutes Edinburgh were not troubled.
Edinburgh started well and they took the lead when after some good combinations between the pack and the backline, Matt Scott got over for a try which was converted by Duhan van der Walt. A penalty from the out-half pushed the lead to 10-0 and with Munster making a series of errors they struggled to get into gear. On their first assault on the home 22 they came away with three points, Ben Healy marking his first appearance in the PRO14 with a well-struck penalty to reduce the lead to 10-3.
The visiting side coughed up possession inside their opponents half with the game in the second quarter and Munster set up an attack that was to reap their first try. Healy popped a penalty into touch and from the lineout and a resultant period of pick and drives, Tommy O’Donnell forced is way over with Healy levelling the tie at 10-10 at the break.
Another Healy penalty put Munster into the lead for the first time at 13-10 but Edinburgh were to score twice without reply. Replacement Simon Hickey levelled the tie again with a penalty and the deciding score came deep in the second half when Edinburgh used the ‘play advantage’ after being awarded a penalty and right wing Eroni Sau showed his juggling ability to snap up a hopeful cross-kick and go over near the posts. It was a defensive error which proved costly. Hickey missed the conversion but the 16-18 scroreline proved just enough to earn Edinburgh a rare victory on Cork soil.
Munster: Shane Daly; Calvin Nash, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton; Ben Healy, Nick McCarthy; Liam O’Connor, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Darren O’Shea; Jack O’Donoghue (C) Tommy O’Donnell, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Keynan Knox, Jed Holloway, Conor Oliver, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Rory Scannell
Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn; Eroni Sau, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Duhan van der Merwe; Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos; Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally, Pietro Ceccarelli; Ben Toolis, Gilchrist; Magnus Bradbury, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata. Replacements: 16. Michael Willemse,17. ,Rory Sutherland , 18. Simon Berghan, 19. Lewis Carmichael, 20. Ally Miller, 21. Charlie Shiel, 22. Simon Hickey, 23. George Taylor.

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