Munster hit Edinburgh for six
January 19, 2014
Munster found life easy against Edinburgh
© Getty Images
Munster eased to a home quarter-final as they saw off Edinburgh 38-6 at Thomond Park on Sunday.
Rob Penney's men gained revenge for their first-round defeat at Murrayfield, comfortably securing the bonus point which gives them home advantage in the last-eight in April. Man-of-the-match James Coughlan and Johne Murphy touched down in a first half which ended 12-6 in Munster's favour, with Edinburgh flanker Cornell du Preez seeing yellow in injury-time.
Two Greig Laidlaw penalties kept Edinburgh in the hunt for an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final place, but those hopes faded as the Irish province registered their bonus point by the 57th minute. Captain Peter O'Mahony followed Conor Murray over the try-line and further efforts from Simon Zebo and Felix Jones made for a stylish six-try romp.
Munster seem to save some of their best rugby for round six, as this was their fourth successive bonus-point success at this stage - adding to wins in previous years over London Irish, Northampton Saints and Racing Metro 92. Edinburgh silenced the capacity Limerick crowd in the opening minutes, Tom Brown almost reaching Greig Tonks' cross-field kick although Laidlaw drew his first penalty attempt wide.
Laidlaw made no mistake with his second place-kick, punishing a scrum offence by Dave Kilcoyne - but Munster were lightning quick to respond. Paul O'Connell rose to take the restart and after a neat spread of passes out to the left, number eight Coughlan - a notable absentee from Ireland's Six Nations squad - cut in on a terrific angle to arrow his way over for the opening try.
Ian Keatley's conversion attempt came back off the left-hand post, but the pattern has been set and Munster gained the upper hand in the scrum as their push for tries gathered pace. The Edinburgh defence splintered far too easily in the 22nd minute - back rowers David Denton and Roddy Grant both missing tackles - as winger Murphy, fed from a scrum, stepped clean through and in behind the posts.
Keatley added the extras for a 12-3 lead before Laidlaw hit back with a second left-sided penalty, and the second quarter was quite an even affair. Replacement Zebo, on for the injured Keith Earls, combined with O'Connell to bring down Laidlaw just short of the try-line, following a promising set of phases from the Scots.
However, Edinburgh lost the services of Du Preez after referee Wayne Barnes sin-binned him for 'recklessly leading with the head' when attempting to clear out O'Connell at a ruck. The second half was just four minutes old when scrum-half Murray plunged over from a close-range ruck for his try, with Tommy O'Donnell and Coughlan tearing through the Edinburgh defence in the build-up.
Keatley's pinpoint conversion from the left put Munster 13 points clear and some neat touches from Zebo kept the province on the front foot. The bonus point was in their grasp by the hour mark, skipper O'Mahony showing great strength to barge past three defenders and stretch over by the posts, with Keatley converting.
Murray then fed Zebo for a simple finish in the left corner and Edinburgh crumbled further under the weight of forward pressure, ending the game with replacement prop Geoff Cross in the sin-bin. Zebo's lovely delayed pass sent full-back Jones over in the right corner and Keatley's cracking conversion was a fitting way to end a Munster-dominated second half.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Jose Mourinho has praised his Chelsea squad after beating Tottenham to lift the League Cup, reserving special praise for those who did not feature in Sunday's Wembley final
Captain John Terry believes Chelsea's "massive" League Cup final win over Tottenham could be the start of something special for the club
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Mercedes cannot afford to be arrogant about its perceived advantage from the winter at the Australian Grand Prix
England's Andy Sullivan claimed his second European Tour title in Johannesburg in the space of eight weeks on Sunday, carding a closing 66 to win the Joburg Open
Sebastian Vettel believes there will be a close fight for third on the grid at the first race in Australia but reckons Mercedes has the front row of the grid secure already
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
In the latest edition of ESPN's Week in Words, Olivier Giroud gets emotional, Dimitar Berbatov is a bit smug, Arsene Wenger is hurting and Rory McIlroy is "p***** off"
ESPN sat down with Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz in Barcelona to talk his rookie year, escaping his famous father's shadow and the step up to the big league in 2015
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Sturridge's fitness must be managed properly so that the striker "doesn't break"
Ander Herrera wishes he could play every game for Manchester United but manager Louis van Gaal's "philosophy" will ultimately restrict his match time
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has dismissed speculation he has fallen out with manager Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal admits Manchester United have fallen behind Chelsea and Manchester City this season because they have lacked a prolific goalscorer
Referee Roger East has told the body responsible for officiating standards in English football it was not a case of mistaken identity when he sent off Sunderland's Wes Brown at Manchester United
The PGA Tour swings into Los Angeles for the Northern Trust Open and the season steps up a gear with some notable names coming out of winter hibernation
An honest England side have been searching for the heir to Jason Robinson for nearly a decade. Step forward Jonathan Joseph, writes Simon Barnes
We rewind to 2003 when Real Madrid brought a park attitude to their Champions League clash with Manchester United and played out a 4-3 thriller
Chris Eubank Jr tells Inside Boxing of his hopes of a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders - and a dream showdown with the formidable Gennady Golovkin
Piers Morgan has declared himself "hurt" over former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson's claims that he is not an authentic fan of the club