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Munster edge out Edinburgh

05th September 2008 21:28

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Kick Start: Paterson scored all his side's points

Heineken Cup holders Munster continued from where they left off last season with a 20-15 win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Friday.

The hosts battled well but suffered a dose of stage fright when it really mattered, and streetwise Munster dealt out a lesson in keeping control and turning pressure into points.

The home troops suffered a setback in the lead-up to the kick-off when international winger Simon Webster pulled out with a knee problem and replaced by rookie Mark Robertson.

But Edinburgh could not have wished for a brighter start as Scotland record-breaker Chris Paterson - his country's highest points corer - confidently slotted a simple penalty when Munster failed to release the ball in contact.

The strike acted as a wake-up call for the visitors and they seized control with a try after four minutes.

Winger Keith Earls was the man who found the gap to gleefully skid over after a flowing move - veteran Test ace Ronan O'Gara banging over the conversion.

Munster continued to hold the upper hand, but Edinburgh had a let-off when O'Gara squandered a penalty chance.

At the other end, Paterson returned to the spotlight to narrow the gap to a single point thanks to another pinpoint kick midway through the half.

The penalty duel continued to go the way of the Scot with O'Gara sending another effort wide from 45 metres twelve minutes before the interval.

And that was the cue for the match to burst into life as Munster created a superb second touchdown.

Paul O'Connell, Donncha O'Callaghan and Doug Howlett were all involved in the sequence which led to number eight David Wallace plunging over.

O'Gara rediscovered his touch to slot the conversion - then traded penalties with Paterson to leave the Irish side eight points to the good at the break.

Then, joy turned to despair for the Gunners when centre Nick De Luca thought he had pulled back a score after chasing Phil Godman - only for the video referee to chalk it off.

To make matters worse for Edinburgh, O'Gara added to his penalty count, though Paterson replied in identical style to keep his side in the hunt.

He repeated the feat in stoppage time to claw back a consolation bonus point.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:

Pen: Paterson 5

For Munster:

Tries: Earls, Dowling

Con: O'Gara 2

Pen: O'Gara 2

Edinburgh: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Chris Paterson, 13 Calum MacRae, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 Simon Webster, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair (c), 8 Allister Hogg, 7 Alan MacDonald, 6 Matt Mustchin, 5 Ben Gissing, 4 Craig Hamilton, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Gavin Kerr, 18 Scott Newlands, 19 David Callam, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 Mark Robertson, 22 Andrew Turnbull.

Munster: 15 Doug Howlett, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Lifeimi Mafi, 12 Rua Tipoki, 11 Ian Dowling, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 David Wallace, 7 John O'Sullivan, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Frederico Pucciariello, 2 Jerry Flannery, 1 Marcus Horan.

Replacements: 16 Frankie Sheahan, 17 Tony Buckley, 18 Mick O'Driscoll, 19 Justin Melck, 20 Peter Stringer, 21 Paul Warwick, 22 Barry Murphy.

Referee: James Jones (Wales)

Touch judges: Rob Dickson (Scotland), Alan Forrest (Scotland)

Television Match Official: Ian Ramage (Scotland)

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