Pro12: Edinburgh 9-10 Munster
|Pro12: Edinburgh v Munster|
|Edinburgh (9) 9|
|Pens: Tovey 3|
|Munster (7) 10|
|Try: O'Mahony Con: Bleyendaal Pen: Bleyendaal|
Munster scrapped to a hard-fought 10-9 victory over Edinburgh to move top of the Pro12 table.
In the first league match of the season at Myreside - Edinburgh's new home - Ronan O'Mahony scored the only try.
A trio of Jason Tovey penalties nudged the hosts ahead at the break, with Munster's Duncan Williams sin-binned.
But in a turgid second period, Tyler Bleyendaal's penalty was the only score, with Blair Kinghorn's last-gasp effort dropping short from 51 metres.
Thud and blunder
The cold and rain made for a rough night at Myreside but the error mountain from both sides was Everestian in its scale. Lost line-outs, kicks out on the full, spillages, a desperate lack of control and - in the conditions and with the absence of so many Test players - an awful shortage of quality.
Sitting 10th in the Pro12 table and going up against a Munster team shorn of 11 of their first-choice side, this was a big chance for Edinburgh to get a much-needed win. They went ahead with a Tovey penalty, from a scrum infringement, but then fell behind after sustained pressure from Munster saw Bleyendaal find O'Mahony with an inside pass.
The Munster wing ran in to score, Bleyendaal converted and the visitors had a 7-5 lead.
Reds see yellow
Munster scrum-half, Williams, got binned for a deliberate knock-on 25 minutes into the opening half and while he was away Tovey put over two kicks to bring it to 9-7. The second of those was from another scrum penalty. Dave Kilcoyne came off the bench and into the Munster front-row at that point. That, more or less, fixed their problem.
What little threat existed in the game came from Munster. They worked good field positions but couldn't make it pay. The only thing that was coherent about Edinburgh was their defence. Everything else about them was passive. They lacked fire, accuracy and any kind of control.
Edinburgh's line-out collapses
The mistakes came in great waves. Edinburgh lost line-outs in eight minutes at the beginning of the half, then made a change at hooker and promptly lost another.
Munster were back in front by then, Bleyendaal knocking over a penalty. Tovey then boomed the restart straight into touch. It was grim stuff. Edinburgh made Munster's life a whole lot easier by repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot.
It was the kind of night when Edinburgh's supposed heavy artillery up front needed to win the battle. They didn't. They lacked grunt, intensity and, for far too long, work-rate. John Hardie was one of the principal exceptions. He put in a big shift.
Even still, they had a penalty chance at the death to win it, albeit a Hail Mary. Blair Kinghorn's 51m penalty dropped short and Munster had sickened Scottish opposition again. This was Edinburgh's ninth loss of the Pro12 season. The stuff of also-rans.
Edinburgh acting head coach Duncan Hodge: "It's a game we've had chances to win and really, we've slit our own throats in terms of some of the turnovers we gave them and then just a simple three points with about 12 minutes to go. The way they play, it was always going to be a big ask to get back from that.
"Our error rate, a few line-outs lost, some scrums, we managed to get the ball back and had some momentum at the beginning of the second half and then gave it away too cheaply. We struggled to get into their half, that was the biggest thing, some of our exits and execution there killed us.
"Aspects of our game tonight were good, I think we were just naïve when it came to finishing out the game."
Edinburgh: Kinghorn, Hoyland, Dean, Burleigh, Brown, Tovey, Kennedy; Cosgrove, Cochrane (capt), McCallum, McKenzie, Toolis, Bradbury, Hardie, Du Preez.
Replacements: McInally, Appiah, Beavon, Carmichael, Mata, Hidalgo-Clyne, Allen, Scholes.
Munster: Taute, Nash, Saili, Goggin, O'Mahony, Bleyendaal (capt), Williams; McCabe, Marshall, Archer, Kleyn, Foley, O'Callaghan, Oliver, O'Donoghue.
Replacements: O'Byrne, Kilcoyne, Scott, O'Shea, Holland, O'Donnell, Lloyd, Scannell.