Jeremy Manning tries to evade Nick De Luca's clutches
Munster 9 (6)
Pens: Manning 3.
Borders 8 (3)
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).