Munster’s attacking nous yields bonus point win

The home side score five tries to see off Edinburgh in opening Pro12 match of the season

 Munster’s Mike Sherry in action at Musgrave Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Munster’s Mike Sherry in action at Musgrave Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

Munster 34 Edinburgh 23: Tries from Denis Hurley, James Coughlan and James Cronin in the first half and Ivan Dineen and JJ Hanrahan in the second helped Munster to a bonus point victory at Musgrave Park last night.

Man of the match Ian Keatley kicked a penalty and two conversions while replacement outhalf Hanrahan tagged on the extras to his own try.

Edinbugh were the first to score with a penalty from outhalf Piers Francis after 10 minutes. But the home side replied with a try from Hurley, who squeezed over in the corner. It required a consultation from referee Marius Mitrea rom the television match official.

Johne Murphy created the next opportunity when he spotted a gap in the Edinburgh defence and opted to kick the ball ahead with Ronan O’Mahony chasing. The 24 year old Garryowen wing inadvertently flicked the ball with his boot into the path of James Coughlan and the number eight collected to touch down.

The visitors reduced the margin thanks to a second penalty from Francis before Munster extended their lead with a well deserved James Cronin try on his first competitive start. Keatley added the conversion to leave Munster 22-6 ahead at the break.

The home side showed a lapse in defence when soft missed tackles allowed Nick de Luca to break through for Edinburgh’s first try after 51 minutes. Francis added the conversion to move the Scottish side within nine points.

But Munster persisted in seeking out the bonus point try and it came in the 53rd minute when Coughlan made the initial break and then Keatley quickly switched the attack to the short side firing a long skip pass out to Dineen on the wing who crossed in the corner.

Munster coach Rob Penney rang the changes including the introducion of a new front row of Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley and John Ryan. The pack set up field position before JJ Hanrahan broke away to score under the posts, knocking over his own conversion to move Munster 34-16 ahead.

The attacking phases paid off with a five try return for Munster but the squad will rue missed tackles after allowing Lee Jones in for Edinburgh’s second and final try after 72 minutes .