Eroni Sau’s 62nd-minute try saw Edinburgh win a close PRO14 contest 18-16 at Irish Independent Park, as Munster fell to their first home defeat in just under two years.
There was nothing to separate the teams at the end of an entertaining first half, with Matt Scott crossing after barely a minute and Tommy O’Donnell’s effort levelling it at 10 points apiece.
On his first PRO14 start, Ben Healy kicked 11 points for a youthful Munster side, including two second-half penalties, but Blair Kinghorn’s cross-field kick set up Sau’s crucial touchdown and Edinburgh stood firm to secure a well-merited victory in Cork.
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The Scots’ hopes of a first away victory over Munster since September 2014 were raised significantly by Scott’s early try. A five-metre scrum was the launchpad for the Scotland centre to stretch over the line, and Jaco Van Der Walt tagged on the extras.
Lineout errors thwarted both sides’ progress until Van Der Walt made it a double-figures lead with a well-struck 20th-minute penalty from 40 metres out. Twenty-year-old prospect Healy hit back a few minutes later, landing his first points for Munster.
The Irish province had been led out by prop Stephen Archer on the occasion of his 200th cap, and they enjoyed a purple patch close to the interval. Flanker O’Donnell burrowed over at the end of 23 phases, allowing Healy to kick them level.
Losing a marquee player has got to hurt a club but Bordeaux sound relieved that in-demand Fijian Semi Radradra made up his mind early about his futurehttps://t.co/Aw7XKFD964
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 29, 2019
Edinburgh carried more of a threat in the backs, as Henry Pyrgos and Kinghorn both made breaks, but a terrific Healy strike from distance handed Munster the lead for the first time early in the second half.
The Conference B leaders’ stand-in captain Jack O’Donoghue brilliantly brought down Pierre Schoeman to deny him a certain try, aided by the covering Shane Daly and Calvin Nash. Healy then punished a high tackle with his third successful penalty to make it 16-10.
However, replacement Simon Hickey was quick to respond from the tee for the Scots and, following some resolute defence, Edinburgh got back on the attack for Kinghorn to skilfully kick out wide and connect with Fijian Sau, edging his side back in front.
Although Hickey missed the difficult conversion, Munster – who were unbeaten at home since their December 2017 loss to Leinster – were left frustrated by their own errors and Edinburgh’s well-organised defence. The Scottish capital club are now just two points behind Munster at the top of Conference B.
– Press Association
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