Munster survive an overtime onslaught to take the win


A quick sprint from Goldenacre up to BT Murrayfield saw the ER reporter/photographer/etc in place for the Guinness PRO12 match-up between Edinburgh and Munster in Round 7 of the competition. Coming straight from the club match to the pro match, it felt a bit like seeing your child’s first go without stabilisers, then turning the telly on to watch MotoGP. A touch of hyperbole, perhaps, and no disrespect to Heriots or Boroughmuir, but the Scottish club game is a long way short of the Professional game in the current era, something that must surely change to avoid the current crop of ‘imports’ from becoming the norm. Rant over……

Anyway, with the weather now a bit more benign than earlier in the day, the players would only have the greasy ball and pitch to deal with as they both welcomed a few returning RWC attendees back to the fold.

It was Munster who had much of the initial play and opened the scoring after seven minutes following sustained pressure on the Edinburgh line with prop, John Ryan, intelligently using the base of the post as his scoring point, and Ian Keatley adding the extras for the early 7-0 lead.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was then able to bring Edinburgh three points closer as a ‘just after the restart’ penalty from Munster gave the home scrum-half an easy kick to make it 7-3.

The next 20 minutes of the match were played mostly in the middle of the field with neither side showing much in the way of attacking flair, the only ‘excitement’ coming by way of a yellow card for Munster wing, Gerhard van der Heever ‘awarded’ for taking Tom Brown out in the air. Despite the shortage, it was Munster who added to the score board with a long range penalty success from Keatley to bring about a 10-3 score.

Just before the break Edinburgh were up in the Munster 22, but had to settle for three points as Greg Tonks’ failed attempt at a drop goal under advantage, led to another successful Hidalgo-Clyne penalty, so bringing the home side up to 10-6 at the break.


The crowd must have used all their wishes for an improved second half performance from the home side as, they pressurised the visiting defence from the off. Damien Hoyland received the ball from a neat Cornell du Preez offload and set off on one of his scintillating runs up field He was intercepted by No. 8, CJ Stander, but the defence was scrambling to get back. Quick recycle ball, found its way to Will Helu on the other wing and he was able to cross the line despite the close attention of his opposite number. Hidalgo-Clyne hit the post with the conversion but Edinburgh were now in the lead at 11-10.

Once again the game bogged down a bit in the middle and, with 56 minutes on the clock, Hidalgo-Clyne redeemed himself with another penalty to stretch out into a 14-10 lead for the home side.

A further string of penalties from both sides lead to another yellow for Munster, this time Francis Saili, but it was, again, the Irish side who came out on top, with two Keatley kicks puting them into a 16-14 lead with just over 10 minutes left.

Then ‘Disaster for Edinburgh?’ –to paraphrase the late, great Arthur Montford, as, with five minutes to play, Tonks saw yellow for deliberate offside. But it ‘wasn’t all over’ (to misquote another legendary commentator) as, just as the clock slipped into overtime, Hoyland intercepted a loose pass and was off.

With few defenders in place the team surged forward, but, following a series of rucks and mauls in the Munster five metre zone, Hidalgo-Clyne chose to try for a drop goal but was blocked the charging Stander thus bringing a fairly error strewn match to an, ultimately, disappointing close.

Images from the match will appear here over the next few days.