Munster Rugby v Edinburgh
Edinburgh were unable to overcome Munster in a hard-fought contest at Thomond Park, with the home side outscoring the visitors four tries to two and coming out on top with a 28-14 victory.
The visitors mounted a late comeback, building on their bright start, yet the 21-point deficit opened up by the Munster-men on 56 minutes – when Edinburgh were down to 14-men for the second-time of the game with Allan Dell serving time in the sin-bin – proved too great for Alan Solomons’ side to overcome.
The loss means Edinburgh move into ninth place in the Guinness PRO12 after four rounds, and ahead of travelling to league champions, Connacht, next week.
Head Coach Alan Solomons said: “On the positive side, I thought that the guys showed tremendous heart today.
“Sadly in the second half we had two really bad tackles – individual tackle errors by players – and that let the in for 14 points. But I thought in the circumstances – in the yellow card and the problem that we had at tighthead today – it was a gutsy performance.
Neither side were able to score in the opening exchanges with stand-offs, Tyler Bleyendaal and Duncan Weir, both pushing penalty attempts wide of the mark.
Munster were unable to take advantage of an extra man as Fraser McKenzie was sent to the sin-bin in the 12thminute, as the referee deemed his bind at the ruck illegal.
Centre Chris Dean opened the scoring with an opportunist try just after 20 minutes, as he scooped up a loose ball from the ruck and paced in from 50 metres to put Edinburgh ahead. Duncan Weir added the extras from wide our to extend the visitors’ lead (0-7).
Munster were quick to react with a try of their own when scrum-half Conor Murray picked the ball from the base off a dominant scrum to score. Bleyendaal made amends for his earlier penalty miss as he hit the target to tie the scores (7-7).
For the first time in the game the home side took the lead on 37 minutes with Murray once again claiming the score as he pounced on a loose Edinburgh ball for the try. Bleyendaal’s conversion took the home side into the break with a 14-7 lead.
Half-time: Munster 14 – 7 Edinburgh Rugby
Munster carried their momentum into the second period, with replacement back-row Conor Oliver racing down the wing to touch down in the corner, and Bleyendaal hitting the target with the conversion to widen the gap (21-7).
Replacment prop Allan Dell was sent to the sin-bin with following repeat Edinburgh offence at the scrum set-piece, and Munster immediately took advantage of their extra man with a 56th minute try from Dave O’Callaghan following a disallowed try five minutes previous.
The conversion, Bleyendaal’s fourth of the night, widened the gap to 21 points in favour of the home side (7-28).
Edinburgh rallied with the game coming to a close adding their second try of the night through replacement John Hardie, who battled his way through to the defence to cross the whitewash. In Weir’s absence, his replacement, Blair Kinghorn, added the extras in the last scoring act of the game (28-14).
Full-time: Munster 28 - 14 Edinburgh Rugby