Munster vs Edinburgh Rugby, Fri, 29/04/2016 - 19:35

A bruising encounter at Irish Independent Park saw a potential win slip from Edinburgh’s grasp in the closing minutes.

“I still felt, when I came off with 15 minutes to go, that we were going to win the game,” said scrum half Sean Kennedy. “We didn’t have massive amounts of ball in the second half and when we did we made small errors, coughed up the ball - it’s those small margins that made the difference.”

The visitors, led out by 50th cap Anton Bresler, set out their stall from the whistle, capitalising on a Munster knock-on when Tovey chipped ahead, followed up by bundling his opponent into touch and saw the squad rolling a maul just metres from the whitewash.

On the seven minute mark, on their first foray into Edinburgh’s half, the home side through Scannell dotted down after a blast up the wing and Holland added the extras to lead 7-0 after eight minutes.

It was a double whammy for Edinburgh as Blair Kinghorn, collateral damage in the charge, left the field with a head knock, replaced by Dougie Fife.

Edinburgh fought back immediately, a rapid break from Matt Scott punctured the host’s defence and as they were pinged at the tackle, gave away a penalty which Jason Tovey slotted with ease.

It was all Tovey again, just minutes later, as he jigged through the Munster line and backed himself to touch down, converting his own debut try for the club to put Edinburgh 10-7 ahead on 20 minutes.

However just two minutes later, pinged at the breakdown, Edinburgh saw the scores levelled with a Holland penalty. A further chance to pull away, minutes later, saw Tovey’s next attempt go wide of the uprights, however.

Despite some attacking forays by the visitors, it was Munster who eased ahead, Zebo darting over in the corner on 30 minutes.

Captain CJ Stander looked like he’d added to the tally minutes after though the ball was adjudged to have been held up. Off the back of a lineout on Edinburgh’s 5m, however, Conway crossed for Munster’s third score, the try again unconverted.

Minutes from half time, with tempers fraying, Edinburgh were again awarded a penalty, duly slotted by Tovey, to close the gap to seven points at the break.

With a sense of symmetry, Tovey further narrowed the gap in the opening minutes of the second half, his successful penalty meaning that all Edinburgh’s 16 points had been scored by the on-loan Welsh stand-off.

Stuart McInally having replaced Ross Ford at the break, along with Chris Dean coming on for a poorly Tom Brown, further fresh legs were required to withstand the unrelenting attack early in the second half. Magnus Bradbury came on for Jamie Ritchie and immediately made his mark, carrying with intensity and purpose.

Three minutes later, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne replaced Sean Kennedy followed by Rory Sutherland on for Alasdair Dickinson, the latter gingerly leaving the field with back issues.

With 15 minutes on the clock, Munster infringed at the breakdown and Hidalgo-Clyne lamped over the penalty, from distance, to bring Edinburgh within a point (19-20).

Wave after wave of attack from the home side brought them perilously close to the Edinburgh line around the 70-minute mark but the capital club’s defence held firm.

Alex Toolis replaced Bresler and John Andress came on for Nel as we went into the closing ten minutes.

As Munster launched another foray, they looked to have touched down on 76 minutes. No try but another scrum perilously close to the whitewash put Saili over between the posts.

With the score converted, Munster hung on to the eight-point winning margin, securing the bonus point try and denying Edinburgh a losing bonus point by one.

The Irish province move into sixth spot now, giving Edinburgh a mountain to climb next week, at home against Cardiff who sit just one point behind them, in eighth spot.

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby


15 Simon Zebo
14 Andrew Conway
13 Francis Saili
12 Rory Scannell
11 Keith Earls
10 Johnny Holland
9 Conor Murray


1 Dave Kilcoyne
2 Niall Scannell
3 Stephen Archer
4 Dave Foley
5 Billy Holland
6 Dave O'Callaghan
7 Tommy O'Donnell
8 CJ Stander



16 Mike Sherry
17 James Cronin
18 John Ryan
19 Robin Copeland
20 Jack O'Donoghue
21 Duncan Williams
22 Ian Keatley
23 Ronan O'Mahony
8 200

GUINNESS PRO12 2015/16 table

1Leinster 22166073
2Connacht 22157073
3Glasgow Warriors22147172
7Cardiff Blues221111056
9Edinburgh Rugby221111054
10Dragons Rugby22418026
12Benetton Treviso22319020