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- Guinness PRO12
- 7th Sep 2013
- KO 19:15
- Att: 6,447
RaboDirect PRO12: Munster claim bonus-point win over Edinburgh
- Glasgow off to winning start
- Leinster start in fine style
- Dragons hot on opening night
- Connacht see off Zebre
- Ospreys get early lift
Munster outscored an under-strength Edinburgh team by five tries to two in Cork as they began the RaboDirect PRO12 season with a 34-23 victory.
Rob Penney's men took a firm grip on proceedings with first half-tries from Denis Hurley, captain James Coughlan and new prop James Cronin.
Edinburgh were 22-6 adrift at half-time with Piers Francis converting two of his four penalty chances.
A Nick De Luca try raised hopes of a comeback from the Scots and while centre Ivan Dineen grabbed Munster's fourth of the night, the visitors remained competitive throughout.
Replacement Harry Leonard kicked a penalty and converted Lee Jones' 70th-minute try, but a losing bonus point was out of their reach with Munster replacement JJ Hanrahan also touching down.
Munster were first to threaten with ball in hand, Cronin getting involved twice on his first senior start before Johne Murphy almost put man-of-the-match Ian Keatley over to the right of the posts.
Edinburgh lost prop Alasdair Dickinson to injury but managed to take an 11th minute lead, with a Francis penalty punishing Stephen Archer for going offside.
But Munster tore ahead with two tries in the space of three minutes. Keatley conjured up the opener, slicing into the 22 and passing wide for full-back Hurley who managed to stretch over past Dougie Fife and Sean Cox.
After Keatley missed the conversion from wide out, Murphy gobbled up the restart to set up another high-tempo raid.
There were some nice touches from Murphy and Duncan Williams before a touch of good fortune set up the second try - Murphy's dinked kick was flicked up by Ronan O'Mahony's right heel, allowing the onrushing Coughlan to finish neatly in the right corner.
Keatley added the extras this time and he nailed a long range penalty entering the second quarter, with Edinburgh falling 12 points behind.
Francis steadied them with his second three-pointer, only for winger Lee Jones to needlessly tackle Coughlan in the air near halfway and earn himself a yellow card.
Keatley missed the resulting penalty from a difficult position on the right, but Munster quickly resumed on the offensive with Casey Laulala starring with his quick-witted offloads.
The province relied on brute force for their next try. Coughlan was stopped in front of the posts and Cronin picked up from the ruck to crash over by the posts, TMO Jude Quinn confirming the grounding.
Keatley converted and Francis was unable to respond before the break, drilling a penalty wide from a tricky spot on the left and missing on the right in the final seconds.
Referee Marius Mitrea sided with Edinburgh for a couple of scrum decisions early in the second half, helping them build some much-needed territory.
Scotland international De Luca left Coughlan for dead and evaded the grasp of two more defenders on a fine 25-metre burst to the try-line, with Francis converting from in front of the posts.
But Munster made certain of their bonus point with 53 minutes gone, Cronin and Coughlan gaining the hard yards before Keatley's long pass put Dineen over in the left corner for an unconverted score.
Gaining more possession by the minute, Edinburgh closed the gap to 27-16 thanks to a Leonard penalty as they set up a competitive final quarter.
Munster were no doubt frustrated by not putting the Scots away and they effectively made the game safe with Hanrahan's easy run-in from a clever feed from fellow replacement Cathal Sheridan, the former adding the conversion.
Nonetheless, Solomons will have been pleased with the perseverance shown by his players, a strong run and step inside from Jones seeing him complete the scoring.Grand Final 2013/14. Click here to bet.
Guinness PRO12 Table
|Saturday 20th December|
|14:40||Glasgow Warriors vs Munster|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Ulster|
|Sunday 21st December|
|16:00||Dragons vs Zebre|
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|17:00||Munster vs Leinster|
|18:45||Ulster vs Connacht|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Scarlets|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
|Saturday 1st November|
|Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Scarlets 28 - 13 Zebre|
|Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 Munster|
|Friday 31st October|
|Ospreys 26 - 11 Connacht|
|Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton Treviso|
|Leinster 33 - 8 Edinburgh|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com