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Positive Start In Musgrave Park

September 7, 2013 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

Munster recorded a 34-23 opening round bonus point victory against Edinburgh tonight in Musgrave Park.

Tries from Denis Hurley, James Coughlan and James Cronin in the first half and Ivan Dineen and JJ Hanrahan in the second forty helped Munster to a bonus point win tonight.

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

Despite attacking breaks from Munster’s James Cronin and Sean Dougall in the opening minutes it was Edinburgh’s Piers Francis who got the visitors on the score-board when he knocked over a penalty after 10 minutes.

But Munster were quick to reply when keeping ball in hand they moved it through the back-line getting the ball out to fullback Denis Hurley who dived over the line by the corner flag two minutes later. Once referee Marius Mitrea received confirmation from the TMO Munster’s opening try was awarded.

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.  O'Mahony showed some impressive footwork, whether intentional or accidental, when flicking the ball off his boot back in to open space and perfectly timed for James Coughlan to grasp it and seize the chance to dive over the line. 

The visitors reduced the margin thanks to a second penalty from Piers Francis before Munster extended their lead with a well deserved James Cronin try on his first competitive start.  With Keatley adding the extras Munster led 22-6 at the break. 

Munster 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.  

But Munster persisted in seeking out the bonus point try and it came in the 53rd minute when James Coughlan made the initial break to bring play up to the 5 metre mark, and then Williams quickly switched the attack to the short side with Keatley firing a long skip pass out to Dineen on the wing who completed the move.

With Penney ringing the changes including the introducion of a new front row of Kilcoyne, Varley and Ryan, the side continued to press on.  With the pack making the yards in to the 22 and Munster holding on to possession JJ broke away to score under the posts, knocking over his own conversion to move Munster 34-16 ahead.

Rob emptied his bench when Cian Bohane made his second Rabo appreance on the 70 minute mark, he previously came on against Zebre at the end of last season. 

The attacking phases paid off tonight 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 giving a final score of 34-23 in Musgrave Park.

Munster: Denis Hurley; Ronan O'Mahony, Casey Laulala, Ivan Dineen (Cian Bohane 70), Johne Murphy; Ian Keatley (JJ Hanrahan 64), Duncan Williams (Cathal Sheridan 54), James Cronin (Dave Kilcoyne 60), Mike Sherry (Damien Varley 60), Stephen Archer (John Ryan 60); Dave Foley, Donncha O’Callaghan (Billy Holland  54); Dave O'Callaghan (Tommy O'Donnell 54), Sean Dougall, James Coughlan Capt. 

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)

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