Antoine Frisch stars as Munster beat Edinburgh to move top of the United Rugby Championship

Planet Rugby
Antoine Frisch in action for Munster in the United Rugby Championship in 2024.

Antoine Frisch in action for Munster in the United Rugby Championship in 2024.

Antoine Frisch touched down twice as Munster reached the summit of the United Rugby Championship table following a 29-26 triumph over Edinburgh.

The 27-year-old has been in superb form this season but looks set to depart at the end of the campaign after declaring for France and has been linked with a move to Toulon.

Despite a positive start from the Scottish outfit, which saw Ben Healy kick two penalties, Frisch scored a brilliant individual try to reduce the arrears to one point.

A further Healy penalty and an effort from Mark Bennett moved Edinburgh 16-5 ahead, but a second try from the visiting outside centre reduced the deficit at the break.

Munster took that momentum into the second period and went ahead for the first time through Jack Crowley before Healy levelled matters with a three-pointer.

Gavin Coombes and Boan Venter then traded scores as the match remained finely poised, but Crowley’s penalty proved to be the match-winner as the Irish province secured their eighth URC win in a row.

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After a spell of Munster pressure in the opening couple of minutes, Edinburgh soon seized the upper hand, with Healy kicking a couple of penalties against his former club in the fifth and 12th minutes to open up a six-point lead for the hosts.

The visitors got up and running in the 18th minute when Frisch kicked over the top and then beat Duhan van der Merwe to the bouncing ball himself before slamming it down over the line. Crowley was off target with his conversion attempt.

Another Healy penalty gave Edinburgh a four-point cushion in the 23rd minute before centre Bennett stretched their lead further when he bundled his way over for a scrappy try after the ball bobbled around in front of Munster’s line, with Healy converting.

Munster reduced their arrears in the 36th minute when Frisch bolted over from close range after the ball was moved swiftly into his path following a scrum, with Crowley converting.

The visitors continued in the ascendancy after the break and got their noses in front for the first time in the 43rd minute when Crowley found a gap and eased his way through after being played in by Rory Scannell. The stand-off duly converted his own try, before another Healy penalty brought Edinburgh level.

Munster went ahead once more with their fourth try of the evening when Coombes pushed over in the 54th minute, with Crowley adding the extras.

Visiting sub Conor Murray was sin-binned for conceding a cynical penalty in front of the posts in the 63rd minute and Edinburgh soon capitalised on the extra-man advantage as Venter was awarded a try after a lengthy TMO check to prove he had grounded the ball over the line. Healy converted to level the match up once more.

But a Crowley penalty in the 70th minute proved decisive in a thrilling encounter.

James Ryan back from injury to captain Leinster against Ulster while Johan Goosen returns

Gareth Davies’ brace inspires Scarlets win

Gareth Davies ran in two of Scarlets’ four tries as they picked up a fourth win of the season with a 32-18 bonus-point victory over Zebre Parma at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

Ryan Elias and Tomi Lewis also went over for the Welsh region, with Ioan Lloyd adding three conversions and Sam Costelow sending over a pair of penalties.

Giovanni Licata and Mohamed Hasa were the try-scorers for the Italians, with Giovanni Montemauri converting one and adding two penalties.

The home side made a quick start and were rewarded when captain Licata picked the ball up from the back of a ruck and powered through a couple of weak Scarlets tackles to touch down under the posts and Montemauri added the simple conversion.

But Scarlets responded and, after knocking on the door and being continually held up over the line five metres out, the forwards kept battling away and Elias powered his way over from close range. Lloyd could not convert from out on the right.

The Scarlets then went ahead midway through the second half when quick hands down the right opened up the Zebre defence.

Taine Plumtree’s superb offload found Lewis, who ploughed down the wing and drew his tackler before a simple inside pass to the supporting Davies saw the scrum-half run in for an easy try.

But a pair of Montemauri penalties saw the home side retake the lead in an end-to-end contest.

Davies ran in for his second try after intercepting a poor pass from Montemauri and running in unopposed from 50 metres out.

The bonus point was secured for the visitors when quick hands again stretched the Zebre back line and Lewis slid in to score.

But Zebre would not go away and they got themselves back into the game when Hasa bundled his way over in the corner after a charged down kick had created the platform.

Two late Costelow penalties put the game to bed.

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