Edinburgh suffer home loss to Munster

Edinburgh fell short against Conference B leaders Munster this evening as the Irish side showcased why they have lost just two PRO14 games this season.

In a stop, start affair at BT Murrayfield, the visitors powered to victory, with their pack leading the way at both set-piece time and in and around the whitewash in both attack and defence.

Munster's Jack O’Donoghue and Craig Casey gave the conference leaders a deserved half-time lead and while Bill Mata struck back for Edinburgh just after the break, it was the visitors who proved the more clinical as they added a third score through Gavin Coombes.

Edinburgh still have five games left to play but sit 11 points behind Scarlets in third, who have played two games more than Cockerill's side.

Munster coughed up four penalties inside the opening nine minutes which Edinburgh capitalised on via Jaco van Der Walt's penalty which was soon cancelled out by JJ Hanrahan at the other end.

The story of Edinburgh's season so far has been missed chances and yet again a bout of white-line fever left the capital side empty handed.

They were handed a golden opportunity by Andrew Conway's knock-on 10 metres from the Munster line.

Eroni Sau led the charge before Andrew Davidson tried to bulldoze his way into score – only to met by a wall of seven red jerseys who simply refused to buckle.

Gavin Coombes was also held up mere inches from the line for the visitors but the difference was Munster had the perseverance to go again, with O’Donoghue bending his body one way then the other as he rolled over Dave Cherry to dot down the opening score after 30 minutes.

Chris Cloete opted for the sneak attack with a tap and go. He was held up, O’Donoghue too but scrum-half Casey was small enough to fit through a chink in the Edinburgh line as he gave the Irishmen a 14-point lead at the break.

But it took just six minutes for the capital club to hit back after the restart.

Henry Pyrgos gained Cockerill's team some much-needed territory with a brilliant low kick to touch. Munster choked on the exit and ended up handing back seven points to the hosts as Mata eventually barged over.

But those Edinburgh gains were soon wiped out. A big scrum shunt saw the hosts pinned back into their own 22. Casey's snipe was caught just before the line but Coombes had the power to crash over for Munster's third try on 57 minutes.

All hope for the BT Murrayfield men was lost as they saw five minutes of grunting come to nothing as they failed to convert from five yards out after a series of huge collisions and collapsed scrums.

There was then an extended break before the final whistle as Andrew Davidson had to be taken off the field on a stretcher, with both sides showing their respect and applauding him off the off the field.

Play of the match

Munster proved the more clinical of the two teams but it might have been a different story had they allowed Edinburgh's Davidson to score the opener on 17 minutes. However, the big lock found himself with nowhere to go as seven red jerseys formed an impassable wall.

Player of the match

Munster captain Billy Holland marked his 240th appearance for the club in style by producing a man-of-the-match performance. The 35-year-old used all of his experience to help Munster to a hard-fought victory.

live commentary 7:35 PM Saturday 20 Feb 2021

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Kick-off 7:35 PM

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