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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 20:32 GMT 21:32 UK
Munster 9-7 Border Reivers
CELTIC LEAGUE
Declan Kidney returned Munster coach
Munster (3) 9
Pens: Burke 2, Manning
Borders (7) 7
Try: Townsend
Con: Hore
Three penalties were enough to give Munster a 9-7 victory over Border Reivers in a lacklustre Celtic League opener at Thomond Park.

It fell to 19-year-old replacement Jeremy Manning to kick the winning penalty just past the hour, adding to two earlier efforts from Paul Burke.

Borders got the only try on 34 minutes when Gregor Townsend sliced through a sleepy Munster defence to touch down.

The Scottish club are without an away win in the league in four seasons.

Townsend, back with Borders in a player-coach capacity, gave them a boost with that try, Hore topping the score off with the conversion.

However, Munster hit back immediately with Burke's first penalty, but were held up twice over the Scots' line late in the half as Borders led 7-3 at the break.

The experienced Burke thumped over his second penalty, three minutes into the second half, and things looked teed up for Munster's Test players to finally give watching Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan some early season selection posers.

Burke missed a 57th-minute penalty shot before his replacement Manning, a former New Zealand schools fly-half, was successful with his first kick in anger.




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