Edinburgh Rugby vs Munster, Sat, 03/05/2014 - 17:00

Outgoing captain Greig Laidlaw was not to get the finale he wished for as Edinburgh Rugby succumbed to a hugely impressive Munster side on a disappointing day at Meggetland (55-12).

The visitors scored seven times, including two penalty tries, as they bounced back from disappointment in the Heineken Cup last weekend.

Carl Bezuidenhout and Willem Nel crossed for the hosts who were hoping to give departing skipper Laidlaw a winning finale in black and red.

Alan Solomons’ side got off to the perfect start in front of a packed Meggetland, when stand-off Bezuidenhout claimed his first try for the club inside the opening 10 minutes.

Jack Cuthbert broke clear and fed Matt Scott, who offloaded superbly in the tackle to put the stand-off over in the corner.

Laidlaw couldn’t add the extras from out wide, but it was the ideal start for the hosts.

The twice European champions responded though, and got on the board thanks to a penalty from stand-off JJ Hanrahan.

The visitors then took the lead after a well-created overlap put winger Andrew Conway underneath the posts.

Hanrahan converted and Munster led 10-5.

The home fans were celebrating again as the game entered its second quarter as a break by Sam Beard – on for the injured Tom Brown – was carried on by lock Grant Gilchrist, before Nel crashed over for the second time in as many games.

A familiar pattern was emerging, as home indiscretions provided Hanrahan with an opportunity to kick the Irish side ahead – which he duly took (12-13).

Laidlaw was wide with a further penalty attempt from long-range but the hosts were playing with enterprise and looked dangerous out wide, Cuthbert and Scott in particular challenging the Munster defenders on numerous occasions.

The host's impressive first half defensive work was undone on the stroke of half-time, when Munster centre Denis Hurley collected an inside pass and evaded Cuthbert to score.

Hanrahan converted and the visitors had stunned their hosts with an eight-point advantage at the break.

HALF-TIME: Edinburgh Rugby 12-20 Munster

The second period started with the visitors in the ascendency and replacement hooker Damien Varley scored their third try shortly after the resumption.

Talismanic lock Paul O’Connell set up a maul five metres from the home team’s line. Varley was patient, before breaking away and dotting down.

The visitors thought they had sealed the bonus point score within ten minutes of the restart, only to be denied by the TMO.

They were not to be denied though, as an impressive scrum brought their fourth try as referee Marius Mitrea awared a penalty try.

Hanrahan’s kick extended the lead to 12-34 after 55 minutes.

Things got worse for the hosts as the match wore on, a second penalty try followed Duncan Williams’ try.

The men in red were in impressive form and breached the half-century with the last play of the game, as back-row Tommy O’Donnell crossed for their seventh try.

Hanrahan and Conor Murray were flawless with the boot, leaving Edinburgh Rugby on the rong end of a 12-55 scoreline in their final home game of the season.

FULL-TIME: Edinburgh Rugby 12-55 Munster

Edinburgh Rugby: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain); 1 Alasdair Dickinson, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Willem Nel, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 5 David Denton, 6 Mike Coman, 7 Tomas Leonardi, 8 Cornell Du Preez. Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand on for Ford (53’), 17 Wicus Blaauw on for Dickinson (66’), 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Ben Toolis on for Coman (71’), 20 Dimitri Basilaia on for Du Preez (53’), 21 Grayson Hart on for Laidlaw (68’), 22 Piers Francis on for Strauss (73’), 23 Sam Beard on for Brown (18’). 

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Gerhard Van Den Heever, 13 Johne Murphy, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Andrew Conway, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray; 1 James Cronin, 2 Duncan Casey, 3 John Ryan, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 5 Paul O’Connell (captain), 6 CJ Stander, 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 8 Paddy Butler. Replacements: 16 Damien Varley on for Casey (29’), 17 Dave Kilcoyne on for Cronin (66’), 18 Alan Cotter on for Ryan (73’), 19 Dave Foley on for O’Connell (55’), 20 James Coughlan on for Stander (66’), 21 Duncan Williams on for Murray, 52’ – Murray for Hurley (69’), 22 Ian Keatley on for Hanrahan (68’), 23 Luke O’Dea on for Conway (40’).

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby
Munster

Backs

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Backs

15 Simon Zebo
14 Gerhard VD Heever
13 Johne Murphy
12 Denis Hurley
11 Andrew Conway,
10 JJ Hanrahan
9 Conor Murray

Forwards

1 James Cronin
2 Duncan Casey
3 John Ryan
4 Donncha O'Callaghan
5 Paul O'Connell
6 CJ Stander
7 Tommy O'Donnell
8 Paddy Butler

Substitutes

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

Substitutes

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
Man of the match: 
Greig Laidlaw