Munster were run away winners at Thomond Park on Saturday night when they beat Edinburgh 34-17, thanks to tries from Danny Barnes, Simon Zebo, Luke O’Dea and a penalty try, as well as two penalties and a host of conversions by Ian Keatley.
Edinburgh got three tries through Phil Godman, Tom Brown and Greig Laidlaw but their kicking was poor and their cause wasn’t helped when two of their players received overlapping yellow cards.
Munster started the game in superb fashion and were on the scoresheet with just three minutes played.
Keatley made a darting run towards the left wing and off-loaded the ball to Denis Hurley who stepped inside the Edinburgh defence, evaded a tackle from Visser and passed the ball to Danny Barnes who gladly went over the line for the first try of the game.
Keatley converted the try after having previously missed a penalty already in the game from long range but just ten minutes later it was the out-half’s ill-advised chip attempt that let Edinburgh score their try.
Jack Gilding blocked down Keatley’s kick and gave the ball to Stuart McInally whose run deep into the Munster half allowed Phil Godman to touch down for five points.
Godman had missed a relatively easy chance from a penalty earlier in the game and his kicking didn’t improve for the conversion attempt which didn’t even make the posts.
Munster piled on the pressure after Edinburgh’s try and were unlucky not to score another try before the half ended but Keatley scored two penalties to put them 13-5 up at half time.
Edinburgh started the second half in much better form and got their rewards in the 49th minute when Tom Brown did well to recover from a tackle from both two Munster players and stretch his arm out to touch the line with the ball.
Godman missed his conversion and Edinburgh soon went two men down when Jack Gilding and Kyle Traynor were sent to the sin bin after Edinburgh repeatedly gave away penalties.
Munster took advantage in the 59th minute after a seven minute saga with a scrum just metres from Edinburgh’s line, the referee gave the home team a penalty try, which Keatley converted.
Just seven minutes later, Munster scored another try through Simon Zebo when some good play down the right wing by Barnes was quickly switched to the right between Keatley and Chambers and Zebo gladly crossed the line for five points; Keatley converted once again.
Edinburgh were unlucky not to get a try when Visser went over the line but the TMO couldn’t distinguish if he touched the ball to the ground and Munster were let off the hook.
The visitors soon made amends for that effort when substitute Greig Laidlaw broke inside the Munster defence and reached out to score Edinburgh’s third try.
Three minutes later Luke O’Dea put some more gloss on Munster’s win when he get on the end of Keatley’s deft chip and touched down for a try.
Munster were well worth their win with their play in the first half, and after Edinburgh had two players sin-binned, it proved to be an obstacle too far for the away side as McGahan’s side were worthy winners; they are now 2.14 to win the RaboDirect Pro12 at BetFair.com.
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Munster 34 v 17 Edinburgh, Thomand Park, 8:30pm
Munster: Barnes 3min (try), Keatley 4min (conv), 27min (pen), 39min (pen), 60min (conv), 68min (conv), 75min (conv), Zebo 66min (try), O’Dea 74min (try).
Edinburgh: Godman 13min (try), Brown 49 (try), Laidlaw 71min (try+conv).
Live score commentary
Full time The referee blows his whistle and Munster run out comfortable winners over Edinburgh. It was a high scoring second half but the two yellow cards within 5 minutes of each other was the killer blow for Edinburgh who never recovered from that. A penalty try and tries from Simon Zebo and Luke O’Dea killed the game off. Scrum half Greig Laidlaw came on and put a gloss on Edinburgh’s performance but it was nowhere near enough to get the visitors back in the game.
80min Munster have the put in to the scrum on the half way line and Luke O’Dea attacks down the right as the clock ticks over the 80 minute mark.
78min Edinburgh are looking for one more score but Munster are holding them off and relieve the pressure with a lineout.
75min Keatley converts and Munster are now 17 points ahead.
74min TRY to Munster! Munster hit straight back and Keatley’s chip inside is latched onto by Luke O’Dea who simply has to dive on the ball for the try.
71min TRY to Edinburgh Substitute Greig Laidlaw breaks the Munster defence and scores a try which he also converts.
70min Let off for Munster as Visser goes over the line but the TMO can’t see if he touched the ball down so the ball goes back to a penalty for Edinburgh which they put to touch.
68min Keatley does well to put the conversion over the bar.
66min TRY to Munster! Great play by Munster as their quick ball down the right wing is attacked by Danny Barnes who puts Paterson out to touch and then takes the throw quickly. The play is stretched to the left wing where Keatley and Chambers link up to set up Zebo for the try.
64min Edinburgh’s attack comes close to a try but Munster clear thanks to Fogarty’s turnover.
61min Laughs all around as the referee is caught up in a ruck. The Edinburgh players will probably have enjoyed that.
59min TRY to Munster! Munster finally get the five points due to a penalty try. Keatley converts.
57min We’ve been at this scrum for four minutes now and the referee shows another yellow card, this time to Edinburgh’s Kyle Traynor. Munster must take advantage of the away side as they are two players down.
56min The same scrum is still holding play off and the referee talks to the Edinburgh front row.
54min Munster have a scrum just in front of Edinburgh’s line. The scrum collapses and O’Leary will put in again.
53min Edinburgh have the put in to the scrum just metres from their own line and Godman kicks clear but only as far as the halfway line. Munster pick the ball up and run with through Simon Zebo but Edinburgh eventually close the home side down. Gilding is then sent to the sin bin for the repeated offence of not rolling away.
52min Munster up the tempo and Denis Hurley’s run and chip down the right wing is stopped by Mike Blair.
50min Godman missed the conversion.
49min TRY to Edinburgh! Tom Brown stretches to score a try for Edinburgh. The winger is tackled by Keatley and Hurley but he’s able to reach out an arm and touch the line with the ball. The referee needs to go to the TMO but the try is given in the end.
48min Better play from Edinburgh early in this half as they’re the team putting the pressure on, moving the ball from left to right across the Munster defence.
47min Once again Munster give the ball away from a lineout and Edinburgh get a penalty near the half way line which substitute Harry Leonard puts wide.
44min It’s like tennis at the minute with both teams kicking the ball to each other but eventually Munster take control of the ball and O’Leary makes a run down the left wing. A bit of afters as Chambers and James King have an off the ball tussle.
43min Munster also lose the ball but win it straight back as Godman kicks down to the Munster half.
42min Edinburgh waste their opportunity as their scrum collapses again and Munster kick to touch.
41min We’re back in action at Thomond Park and Munster collect from the kick-off but they knock the ball on and Edinburgh get the put into the subsequent scrum.
Half time With 40 minutes gone, Munster are 13-5 up over the travelling Edinburgh side. The home team are well worth their lead and may be ruing their opportunities to score more tries. Edinburgh’s try came out of nowhere and the visitors haven’t had much else to shout about for the first half. Tony McGahan’s side will look to end the game early in the second half to avoid a comeback like Edinburgh have achieved in their last two Heineken Cup fixtures against London Irish and Racing Metro.
40min Edinburgh come dangerously close to intercepting a pass by Munster but they can’t and Fogarty drops the ball as the ref blows for half time.
39min The Munster outhalf is directly in front of the posts from around 36metres out and makes no mistake with his kick to make it 13-5 to the home team.
38min The ball is turned over again and Munster go on another attack. The home team win a penalty and Keatley will go for the points.
36min Munster give away a penalty which allows the visitors to relieve the pressure on them with a kick to touch. Munster are penalised again as Donncha O’Callaghan tackles an Edinburgh player in the air.
34min Munster come agonisly close as they get the ball inches from the line but Marcus Horan drops the ball at the crucial moment.
33min A brilliant move by Munster with some great passing ends as Chambers can’t find his man and Edinburgh turn it over just in front of their own line.
31min Keatley kicks to touch and Munster get the line out but the ball is thrown too far and Edinburgh clear the ball with a kick upfield.
30min Edinburgh win the lineout but knock the ball on in their attempts to control the ball and gift Munster the put in to the scrum. The scrum collapses as the Edinburgh front row collapses and Munster get the penalty.
29min Munster are on the attack again and lose the ball. Their urgency is too much for Edinburgh however and they win the ball back as Keatley kicks to touch. Lineout to Edinburgh.
27min Keatley doesn’t miss from right in front of the posts and Munster stretch their lead to five points.
26min It’s all Munster as they drive forward in an attack that has brought them about 50 metres to just infront of Edinburgh’s try line. They eventually win a penalty after the ref goes back to an earlier advantage and opt to go for the three points.
23min Mike Blair does well to tackle Hurley but then tries to take the ball off him in an offside position and Munster get a penalty which Keatley kicks to touch and wins Munster a lineout.
21min Thomas O’Leary’s run is halted by Edinburgh and it looks like Munster have lost the ball but the forwards do exceptionally well to retain possession.
20min The Munster out-half’s kick is not the best and it goes right of the posts.
19min Keatley looks for an opening down Edinburgh’s right flank after a one-two with Mick O’Driscoll but he’s tackled and Munster win a penalty after playing the advantage for an earlier foul. Keatley will go for the points nearly 50 metres from goal.
17min Great play from Will Chambers as Keatley’s garryowen is caught by Paterson who is wrestled into touch by Chambers.
16min The Edinburgh maul drives forward but there’s an infringement and Munster have the put-in to the scrum.
14min Terrible conversion attempt by Godman as the try scorers effort doesn’t even make the posts.
13min TRY to Edinburgh! Edinburgh intercept a pass and it’s Jack Gilding’s run that sets up Phil Godman who goes over for the try.
12min Munster piling on the pressure now as they switch the attack from left to right to try and find an opening in the Edinburgh defence.
10min Great kick by Keatley gains ground for Munster inside Edinburgh’s 22.
9min Phil Godman misses his penalty. The wind is swirling at Thomond Park but the out-half should’ve done better from inside the 22 metre line and close to the centre.
8min Edinburgh win a penalty after Barnes doesn’t release and they’ll go for the points.
4min Keatley makes no mistake as puts the conversion between the posts for the extra 2 points.
3min TRY to Munster! Munster break from the right and Denis Hurley’s run fools the Edinburgh defence down the left wing before the full back off-loads to Danny Barnes who touchs down for five points.
2min Ian Keatley went for the posts about 38 metres out but his kick goes just wide of the post.
1min Munster get the game underway and win a penalty already as an Edinburgh player entered the ruck from the side.
0min Its a very late kick off for Munster fans this evening.
Munster: D Hurley; L O’Dea, W Chambers, D Barnes, S Zebo; I Keatley, T O’Leary; M Horan, D Fogarty, S Archer; D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll (capt); B Holland, T O’Donnell, P Butler.
Replacements: S Henry, J Ryan, J Hayes, I Nagle, J Coughlan, D Williams, T Gleeson, S Deasy.
Edinburgh: C Paterson, S Visser, J Thompson, J King, T Brown, P Godman, M Blair, K Traynor, S Lawrie (capt), J Gilding, S Cox, S Turnbull, N Talei, R Rennie, S McInally
Replacements: A Kelly, R Hislop, L Niven, E Lozada, R Grant, G Laidlaw, H Leonard, G Hunter.