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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 September 2006, 18:12 GMT 19:12 UK
Munster 9-8 Border Reivers
Jeremy Manning attempts to make a break for Munster
Jeremy Manning tries to evade Nick De Luca's clutches

Munster 9 (6)
Pens: Manning 3.

Borders 8 (3)
Try: Robertson.
Pen: MacRae.

Three Jeremy Manning penalties proved enough for Munster to edge out the Borders in a scrappy Magners League clash at Thomond Park.

Borders full-back Callum MacRae put his side ahead with a 19th-minute penalty but two successful Manning kicks helped the home side lead 6-3 at the interval.

Manning extended Munster's lead in the 50th minute but Borders replied on the hour with a Mark Robertson try.

MacRae missed the tough conversion and Munster held on to claim the win.

There were few bright spots in an error-strewn first half as the home side's mix of academy players and newcomers struggled for fluency.

The visitors got off to a shaky start when James Coughlan charged down a clearance kick from Scotland scrum-half Chris Cusiter but both sides lacked a cutting edge.

Manning missed a 45-metre shot at the posts before Borders full-back MacRae pinged over a 19th-minute penalty for the opening points.

A knock-on from Kelly Brown from the restart led to Munster's best spell and two penalties from Manning - the second in injury time after a Gavin Kerr error - saw the hosts go into the break 6-3 ahead.

After a couple of earlier misses, Manning slotted over his third penalty to make it 9-3 after a Ben MacDougall offside.

Manning's night was spoiled by a shoulder injury but not before his midfield pass was gobbled up by Nick De Luca, and a neat link by MacDougall saw Robertson go over in the left corner.

MacRae tried manfully to swing the conversion in, but it tailed away and the Borders were left with a one-point deficit that they were unable to claw back.


Munster: Payne, Gleeson, Kelly, Downey, Lawlor, Manning, O'Leary, D. Hurley, Sheahan, Pucciariello, Wyatt, D. Ryan, O'Sullivan, McGann, Coughlan.Replacements: Hickey for Manning (72), T. Ryan for Pucciariello (71). Not Used: Kyriacou, O'Connor, Cuttriss, G. Hurley, O'Boyle.

Borders: MacRae, Law, De Luca, MacDougall, Robertson, Jones, C. Cusiter, Kerr, Ford, Douglas, Palepoi, Grimes, Gray, Brown, Beattie.Replacements: Townsend for MacRae (63), Kalman for Douglas (65), Hamilton for Palepoi (74), Dalziel for Brown (73), Miller for Beattie (53). Not Used: Scott, McKearchar.

Referee: James Jones (WRFU).

CELTIC RUGBY

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SEE ALSO
Blues 22-13 Munster
01 Sep 06 |  Cardiff Blues
Borders 15-29 Connacht
01 Sep 06 |  Connacht


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