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Munster battle back to scrape past Edinburgh

By PA
John Ryan of Munster during the United Rugby Championship match. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Edinburgh’s hopes of making it into the BKT United Rugby Championship play-offs suffered a blow as they were edged out 29-26 by high-flying Munster in an exhilarating encounter at the Hive Stadium.

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The side from the Scottish capital may now require a win away to Benetton in the last match of the regulation campaign if they are to secure a top-eight finish.

Munster have no such worries as this impressive win – from 16-5 behind at one point – ensured they will finish in the top four and have a home quarter-final to look forward to.

After a spell of Munster pressure in the opening couple of minutes, Edinburgh soon seized the upper hand, with Ben Healy kicking a couple of penalties against his former club in the fifth and 12th minutes to open up a six-point lead for the hosts.

The visitors got up and running in the 18th minute when Antoine Frisch kicked over the top and then beat Duhan van der Merwe to the bouncing ball himself before slamming it down over the line. Jack Crowley was off target with his conversion attempt.

Another Healy penalty gave Edinburgh a four-point cushion in the 23rd minute before centre Mark Bennett stretched their lead further when he bundled his way over for a scrappy try after the ball bobbled around in front of Munster’s line, with Healy converting.

Defence

186
Tackles Made
147
24
Tackles Missed
25
89%
Tackle Completion %
85%

Munster reduced their arrears in the 36th minute when Frisch bolted over from close range after the ball was moved swiftly into his path following a scrum, with Crowley converting.

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The visitors continued in the ascendancy after the break and got their noses in front for the first time in the 43rd minute when Crowley found a gap and eased his way through after being played in by Rory Scannell. The stand-off duly converted his own try, before another Healy penalty brought Edinburgh level.

Munster went ahead once more with their fourth try of the evening when Gavin Coombes pushed over in the 54th minute, with Crowley adding the extras.

Visiting sub Conor Murray was sin-binned for conceding a cynical penalty in front of the posts in the 63rd minute and Edinburgh soon capitalised on the extra-man advantage as Boan Venter was awarded a try after a lengthy TMO check to prove he had grounded the ball over the line. Healy converted to level the match up once more.

But a Crowley penalty in the 70th minute proved decisive in a thrilling encounter.

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