Edinburgh 13 Munster 16
Munster made it two wins from two Magners League games tonight against an Edinburgh side who slumped to their second straight loss.
The Scottish team were under the cosh from the outset against a powerful Munster outfit which piled on the pressure and were denied a try in the opening 40 minutes by a solid home defence.
Two penalties from Paul Warwick to one by Chris Paterson on the stroke of half-time saw Munster lead 6-3 at the interval.
Tim Visser’s converted try five minutes after the break moved the hosts into a 10-6 lead only for Donncha O’Callaghan to cross for the visitors’ first try, which was converted by Ronan O’Gara.
A Paterson penalty tied the score but O’Gara replied in kind to make sure of the away win.
Edinburgh had hardly been out of their own half when Warwick slotted a simple penalty to put Munster ahead, and he almost had another soon after when Edinburgh were penalised at the scrum but this time his kick drifted wide.
The home scrum was under real pressure with number eight Netani Talei constantly tidying up on the back foot and, as Felix Jones started to break from full-back, Edinburgh were stretched to the limit.
The first half was marred by a 20-minute stoppage for a serious injury to Edinburgh’s Argentinian lock Esteban Lozada and, on his eventual departure, things immediately got worse as Alex Grove was adjudged offside and Warwick potted penalty number two.
The hosts almost nicked a try from a retreating Munster scrum which coughed up the ball but too often they were turned over or gave away the penalty.
In the final minute of the half, a 38-yard penalty was at the limit of Paterson’s range but it dropped over via the post, leaving Munster wondering how they could have had so much pressure and territory to go in only three points ahead.
Edinburgh got just the start they needed to the second half to boost their confidence – a Phil Godman kick plucked out of Doug Howlett’s arms by Visser for the Dutch winger to sprint 40 yards for the first try of the night.
Paterson added the extras but from there on Munster’s power ensured that they were on the front foot.
Ian Dowling scorched in off his wing following Tomas O’Leary’s 56th-minute break and was hauled down a metre short but O’Callaghan, who had been on the pitch for around 60 seconds, powered over.
O’Gara slotted the conversion and, although Paterson’s 62nd-minute penalty tied the scores, there was an inevitability about the Munster belief that they would prevail.
O’Gara duly landed the penalty which put them in the lead with 13 minutes remaining, and the Irish team successfully ran down the clock to grind out what could be an invaluable win on the road.