Munster maintained their position at the top of the Magners League table with a bonus point 28-14 win over Edinburgh in front of a full house at Musgrave Park
They scored early and late in the opening half to lead 14-7 at the break and further tries from Keith Earls and Ciaran O’Boyle both converted by Paul Warwick gave the home side a fully merited victory.
A family bereavement forced the withdrawal of Donnacha Ryan and the reshuffle saw Alan Quinlan come in to partner captain Mick O’Driscoll in the second row. Quinlan took to the unfamiliar role with gusto and picked up Setanta’s Magners Man of the Match award in a pack that also had top notch performances from the skipper O’Driscoll, Denis Leamy, Denis Fogarty and number 8 Nick Williams. Williams put in a big performance despite taking a punch to the face in the opening stages that went uncensured.
Doug Howlett opened the scoring with a try in the corner in the tenth minute and Warwick landed a marvellous touchline conversion as he did again in the 37th minute from the opposite touchline when Tony Buckley demonstrated great dexterity to score at the corner flag.
In between those tries Ben Cairns ran in under the posts for a try after Lifeimi Mafi looked to have saved the situation.
Munster extended their lead after Chris Paterson spilled a high ball, a mistake that ended with Earls scoring in the 56th minute after a perfectly weighted kick by Mafi, and Munster’s almost total dominance earned its reward with a bonus try seven minutes later when O’Boyle latched onto a loose ball before showing a clean pair of heels to the Edinburgh defence.
Munster: Denis Hurley (J Manning 67); D Howlett, K Earls (K Lewis 76), L Mafi, C O’Boyle; P Warwick, P Stringer (M Prendergast 70); F Pucciariello, D Fogarty (M Essex 77), T Buckley (Darragh Hurley 64), M O’Driscoll, A Quinlan; D Leamy, N Ronan (O’Donnell 69), N Williams (B Holland 67).
Edinburgh: C Paterson; A Turnbull (Reid 58), B Cairns, N De Luca, M Robertson (Thompson 55); D Blair, G Laidlaw (Meyer 66); K Turner (McNeil 58), A Kelly (Lawrie 67), R Grant, C Hamilton (McLoed 58), B Gissing, S Cross (Newlands 9), A McDonald, A Hogg.
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRFU).