Munster take five at Edinburgh

Date published: April 11 2015

Munster stayed very much in the hunt for a home semi-final spot in the PRO12 after they beat Edinburgh 34-3 with a bonus-point on Saturday.

It was a tense affair from the off as both teams arm wrestled for control, with Tom Heathcote and Ian Keatley trading penalties in the opening quarter.

As the half progressed Munster gained ascendancy and Duncan Casey rode the back of a maul to get the only try of the first-half with Munster leading 10-3. 

Munster continued their dominance into the second period with CJ Stander scoring the opening try of the half. 

When Edinburgh's Tim Visser was shown yellow 54 minutes in the floodgates opened. Tries from Conor Murray, Simon Zebo and Keith Earls put the final nails in Edinburgh's coffin, earning Munster an vital bonus-point win. 

Munster were out for revenge after Edinburgh upset the Red Army 14-13 at Thomond Park on the opening day of the season. Some early attacking pressure from Edinburgh forced a penalty from the visitors after just three minutes, Heathcote stepped up to open the scoring 0-3. 

Edinburgh were pinged for offside after a relatively quiet 20 minutes for Munster and Keatley made it count, levelling the scores at 3-3.

Edinburgh conceded a dubious penalty for lifting legs in the maul and Keatley found the corner with the kick. A driving maul from the lineout cleared space for Casey to crash over for the first try of the match. Keatley dissected the posts for the conversion to put Munster 10-3 in front at half-time. 

Another penalty from Edinburgh, this time for hands in the ruck, led to another Munster lineout deep in the opposition's half. Stander scored in the final wave of a devastating driving maul but Keatley couldn't provide the finishing touches as he missed his first kick of the match to keep the scores at 15-3. 

With 25 minutes to play Visser was shown yellow for slowing down play of the ball at the ruck. Murray pinched the ball out the back of yet another Munster maul and snuck his way down the blindside to poach another try for the Irish. Keatley regained his kicking form with the conversion to put Munster 22-3 ahead. 

Zebo then seemingly managed to get his fingers to the ball in-goal to earn Munster a bonus-point but Keatley was awry again with his conversion attempt. 

Earls got on the end of grubber kick and managed to twist his way through the Edinburgh defence to score Munster's fifth and final try of the match. Keatley notched an impressive conversion from out wide to secure what was a simple victory for Munster.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Pen: Heathcote

For Munster:
Tries: Casey, Stander, Murray, Zebo, Earls
Con: Keatley 3
Pen: Keatley

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 David Denton, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Roddy Grant, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford (c), 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 John Andress, 19 Fraser Mckenzie, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Sam Beard, 23 Tom Brown.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony (c), 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Billy Holland, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Dave O'Callaghan, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Ronan O'Mahony.

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)
Assistant referees: Neil Paterson, Andy Macmenemy (both SRU)
TMO: Iain Ramage (SRU)