Penney’s young charges secured a thoroughly deserved RaboDirect Pro12 win that keeps the province in the mix for a top four spot and the coach was both relieved with the win and pleased with the performance.
Having had to watch Munster lose in Cork to Scarlets and Cardiff earlier in the campaign, he said: “At long last, my goodness we have battled to get a win here. We are really pleased with what we achieved as well, the guys played a good brand and expressed themselves, that’s what we asked them to do and they delivered.”
A side short of many experienced heads certainly didn’t lack ambition and Penney praised his charges.
“Some of them don’t get many opportunities and they have to sit in the wings,” he said. “Then, sometimes when they get the opportunity in the public eye they don’t always get the rewards, but this time they can be pretty pleased with what happened and can justifiably feel pretty proud of themselves.
“The way they played in the second half was commanding. I don’t think they [Edinburgh] had the ball in the first 20 minutes of the second half. We just dominated possession and territory and sucked the life out of them.”
It didn’t always come easy and Munster had to persuade Welsh referee Ian Davies that technical glitches at scrum-time wasn’t always their fault, having paid with a yellow card for BJ Botha in the 13th minute after which Piers Francis gave the visitors a 3-0 lead.
Munster began to exert control as the minutes passed but had to satisfy themselves with a 6-3 half-time lead thanks to two penalties from Ian Keatley.
It got better from there, however, and Keatley knocked over four more as Munster forced Edinburgh backwards. At 18-3 the game was pretty much done but the crowd took particular delight in CJ Stander’s 68th-minute try, a brilliant effort involving several players, but primarily Ivan Dineen who provided the scoring pass. Keatley was on song and added the conversion before Munster rounded off a very decent display with a second try of high quality from replacement hooker Mike Sherry.
As much as the win, Penney was pleased with the quality of the tries on a damp night and a heavy pitch.
“We have slipped up a couple of times here so it was really important for us to get a win here in front of the Cork supporters and the Munster people from this side of the region because it hasn’t been pretty up until now, said Penney, who takes his side to Scarlets next. “But hopefully the boys are seeing the benefit of being a little bit patient. The lads played some really attractive footie out there and proved you can get a result by playing that sort of rugby. It was great in those conditions.”
At least Penney has something to look forward to, unlike Edinburgh’s Irish coach Michael Bradley.
“We didn’t really threaten a whole lot in that match; it was only 6-3 at half time but by then Munster had begun to establish themselves.
“We had them under a bit of pressure in the first 20 minutes but that was mainly because they were conceding penalties.
“There was nothing much happening in that first half, it was a weird type of a game but Munster went about their business much better in the second half.”
MUNSTER: D Hurley, J Murphy, I Dineen, JJ Hanrahan, D Barnes, I Keatley, D Williams, M Horan, D Varley, BJ Botha, I Nagle, B Holland, CJ Stander, J Coughlan (capt), D Dougall.
Replacements: M Sherry for Varley, W du Preez for Horan (both 51); P Butler for Coughlan (64); D Foley for Nagle, T O’Donnell for Dougall (both 67); S Deasy for Barnes, C Sheridan for Williams, J Ryan for Botha (74).
EDINBURGH: G Tonks, D Fife, B Cairns, B Atiga, T Brown, P Francis, R Rees, J Yapp, A Titterell, W Nel, P Parker, I van der Westhuizen, S Cox (capt), S McInally, N Talei.
Replacements: G Gilchrist for
Parker, S Lawrie for Titterell (both 53); A Jacobsen for Yapp (62); H Watson for McInally, C Leck for Reid, G Hunter for Atiga (all 66).
Referee: I Davies (Wales)