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Howlett double sinks Edinburgh

18th February 2011 21:45

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doug howlett munster 2010

Double strike: Doug Howlett

Doug Howlett scored two tries to help Munster to a 23-13 win over Edinburgh on Friday to move 11 points clear at the top of the Magners League.

Howlett touched down in first-half injury-time to draw Munster level at 13-13, after front-rowers Tony Buckley and Geoff Cross had traded earlier tries.

But this Thomond Park clash was swung in Munster's favour by a Ronan O'Gara penalty and Howlett's second try of the night.

It was a steady start from both sides, Chris Paterson and O'Gara trading early penalty goals before Peter Stringer's pass put Buckley squeezing over in the corner.

O'Gara missed the conversion and Paterson was able to close the gap to 8-6 after a ruck offence from Tommy O'Donnell.

Denis Hurley popped up on some strong runs for Munster, but Cross was driven over by the posts and Paterson added the extras for a 13-8 scoreline..

It was left to Munster to respond in injury-time when Howlett went over in the right corner, despite the best efforts of Laidlaw.

O'Gara's missed conversion left the sides locked level for the break, and the Munster out-half opened the scoring in the second half with a neatly-taken penalty.

Laidlaw did well to ground a grubber kick from O'Gara as Munster probed for their third try.

The crucial moment came 14 minutes from the end as Johne Murphy laid off for Howlett to score to the left of the posts.

O'Gara converted for a 10-point advantage and Edinburgh were kept at arm's reach for the remainder as they fell to their fifth straight defeat in all competitions.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Tries: Buckley, Howlett 2
Con: O'Gara
Pens: O'Gara 2

For Edinburgh:
Try: Cross
Con: Paterson
Pens: Paterson 2

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Lifeimi Mafi, 12 Paul Warwick, 11 Denis Hurley, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Denis Leamy, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements:16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Ian Nagle, 20 Billy Holland, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Tom Gleeson, 23 Simon Zebo.

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 James King, 11 Tim Visser, 10 David Blair, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Netani Talei, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Fraser McKenzie, 5 Steven Turnbull, 4 Scott MacLeod, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Andrew Kelly, 1 Kyle Traynor.
Replacements:16 Alun Walker, 17 Lewis Niven, 18 David Young, 19 Alan MacDonald, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Nick De Luca, 22 Simon Webster, 23 Jim Thompson.

Venue: Thomond ParkReferee: Nigel Owens

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