Planet Rugby

Munster shocked at Murrayfield

12th October 2013 15:27

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Edinburgh s Matt Scott is brought down by Munsters Ian Keatley

Try for Edinburgh: Matt Scott

Edinburgh produced the first upset of the Heineken Cup season on Saturday with a 29-23 victory over Munster at Murrayfield.

A late Tim Visser try helped Edinburgh - who are stone last in the Pro12 - get their European campaign off to an impressive start as they shocked the two-time champions with their best display since the arrival of new boss Alan Solomons.

The home side belied the poor form so far this season as Matt Scott powered through Casey Laulala to give them the lead in the early stages.

The 23-year-old Scotland centre, making his first start of the season after returning from an ankle injury, made several strong runs in the opening few minutes and was on hand to cross the whitewash after a concerted period of pressure.

Greig Laidlaw added the conversion and a penalty soon afterwards, with Ian Keatley responding with three points for Munster, but the diminutive scrum-half was guilty of letting the two-time European champions back into the game midway through the first half.

His clearance kick was charged down inside his own 22 and moments later Laulala was smashing his way over underneath the posts to level the scores.

Laidlaw did restore Edinburgh's lead momentarily with another penalty but the hosts struggled to handle the power of the opposing pack at times and hooker Mike Sherry crossed from short range after some surges from his fellow forwards had sapped the strength of the defence.

The Scots' heads never bowed though, which is a minor achievement in itself given that they currently find themselves bottom of the Pro12 with just one win from five games, and they led 19-17 at half-time as Laidlaw continued his impeccable form with the boot and added two more penalties.

Keatley matched those six points with two more penalties of his own as Munster appeared to be getting the better of the battle of attrition in the second half but the key moment of the match came with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Grant Gilchrist gathered in replacement JJ Hanrahan's chip over the top and floated a pass out wide for Visser, who streaked away to score in the corner.

Laidlaw's fifth penalty of the afternoon added a bit of extra breathing space and the Scots withstood some heavy Munster pressure late on to hold on and record a surprise, morale-boosting win and, perhaps, give their fans some hope of improving their recent fortunes and emulating their run to the semi-final the season before last.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Scott, Visser
Cons: Laidlaw 2
Pens: Laidlaw 5

For Munster:
Tries: Laulala, Sherry
Cons: Keatley 2
Pens: Keatley 3

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Douglas Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Greig Laidlaw (capt), 8 David Denton, 7 Cornell Du Preez, 6 Dimitri Basilaia, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Lodewicus Blaauw, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Joaquin Dominguez, 23 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Paul O'Connell (capt), 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 James Cronin, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Denis Hurley.

Venue: Murrayfield
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: David Rose (England), Roy Maybank (England)
Television match official: Trevor Fisher (England)

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