Planet Rugby

Munster keep pressing for second

03rd May 2014 18:08

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Conor Murray Munster

In-form: Conor Murray

A thumping 55-12 bonus point win over Edinburgh kept Munster in the hunt for second place in the PRO12 at Meggetland on Saturday.

An impressive seven-try showing ensured the province kept pace with Glasgow Warriors and took the race for second spot and the crucial home semi-final it brings with it down to the last day of the regular season.

For Edinburgh, the curtain was brought down on the career of Greig Laidlaw in the Scottish capital, who swaps Black and Red for Cherry and White next season, and can be reasonably pleased with his final home performance at Meggetland.

Indeed, it was the hosts who started the brighter, fly-half Carl Bezuidenhout bundling over in the corner after a fine midfield break and offload from Matt Scott.

With JJ Hanrahan very much in form with the boot and keeping the scoreboard ticking over early on, Munster soon regained the lead with a well-worked try from winger Andrew Conway, who capitalised on some characteristically soft Edinburgh defence to finish under the posts.

Denis Hurley was to do likewise after Willem Nel had burrowed his way over for a converted try for Alan Solomons' men. Hanrahan added his second penalty to give Munster a 20-12 half-time lead.

Though their tackling and line speed has proved more than a tad suspect this season, Edinburgh had just cause for optimism at the break. In the second forty, however, they fell apart. Their defence was as resilient as damp tissue paper, while their attack was stunted by errors and a dose of profligacy.

Replacement hooker Damien Varley dotted down off the back of a rolling maul in the shadow of the Edinburgh posts, before a monstrous scrum yielded a penalty try as the home pack were splintered and the back-row slipped their binds. Hanrahan converted both scores.

Another substitute, Duncan Williams, showed nimble footwork as he bagged number five off the back of fine support play and running lines, given a helping hand once more by dreadful Edinburgh defending.

A second penalty try was awarded as, with two men poised to score on the outside barely three metres from his own line, Grant Gilchrist slapped a pass to ground mid-air. The officials took an inexplicably long time to arrive at what was the correct decision, and the Scotland second-row was sent to the sin-bin for his troubles. This time it was Conor Murray who stepped up and knocked over the simple two points.

Openside Tommy O'Donnell rounded things off with the clock red, crashing over in the corner with Edinburgh's focus now more on the post-match festivities than defending their line. Murray put the icing on the cake with a super touchline conversion, and Munster - in true style - are not giving up the chance for a home semi-final without a real fight.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Bezuidenhout, Nel
Con: Laidlaw
Yellow card: Gilchrist

For Munster:
Tries: Conway, Hurley, Varley, Penalty Try 2, Williams, O'Donnell
Cons: Hanrahan 5, Murray
Pens: Hanrahan 4

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Tomas Leonardi, 6 Mike Coman, 5 Dave Denton, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Al Dickinson
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Wicus Blauuw, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Dimitri Basilaia, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Sam Beard

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Johne Murphy, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Andrew Conway, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Paddy Butler, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Ryan, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Alan Cotter, 19 Dave Foley, 20 James Coughlan, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Luke O'Dea

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Ita)
Assistant referees: Peter Allan, Bob Nevins (both Sco)
TMO: Ian Ramage (Sco)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411