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Page last updated at 20:21 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 21:21 UK

Edinburgh 15-20 Munster

Edinburgh (9) 15
Pens: Paterson (5)

Munster (17) 20
Tries: Earls, Wallace Cons: O'Gara (2) Pens: O'Gara (2)

Ally Hogg and Jerry Flannery
Edinburgh's Ally Hogg (left) and Jerry Flannery battle for possesion

Munster opened their Magners League campaign with a narrow victory which flattered defeated hosts Edinburgh.

Tries from Keith Earls and David Wallace helped the visitors into a 17-9 lead at half-time with Chris Paterson kicking Edinburgh's points.

Ronan O'Gara kicked Munster further ahead before Paterson reduced the arrears with his fourth penalty.

Paterson kicked a further penalty but the home side could not force the try that could have given them a win.

Edinburgh's preparation for the match was not helped when Scotland international Simon Webster was forced to pull out before kick-off with a knee injury, giving the inexperienced Mark Robertson a start on the wing.

In spite of this setback, the home side started brightly and took an early lead through Paterson, who was making his first competitive appearance since returning to the Scottish capital side from Gloucester.


Scotland's most capped player slotted home a simple penalty after Munster failed to release the ball in contact.

But Munster responded quickly and took the lead after four minutes when Earls found a gap to skid over the line at the end of a flowing move.

O'Gara, who had converted the opening try, then squandered a penalty chance.

This allowed Paterson to bring Edinburgh within one point of the visitors with another accurate kick.

But although O'Gara missed another penalty, Munster restored their superiority with an excellent second try.

Paul O'Connell, Donncha O'Callaghan and Doug Howlett were all involved in a sequence of passing which led to number eight Wallace crossing the line.

Edinburgh's Chris Paterson
Paterson was making his 150th appearance for Edinburgh

O'Gara converted once again and then traded penalties with Paterson before the interval as Munster went in with an eight-point lead.

Nick De Luca thought he had pulled a score back early in the second half after chasing Phil Godman's pass but the video referee disallowed the try.

O'Gara extended Munster's lead with his second penalty of the evening.

Paterson replied with his fourth and fifth penalties of the match, which guaranteed a bonus point for Edinburgh.

Andy Robinson's side went in search of a winning score but Munster held firm to claim a deserved win.

Edinburgh coach Andy Robinson:
"Credit to Munster, they scored two cracking tries. They deserved to win the game.

"We didn't find our shape. We committed too many numbers to the breakdown which meant that we didn't have the width and we didn't have the runners.

"What pleased me in the end was that it was 20-15 with three minutes to go and we were still in the game. However, we didn't take the opportunities then to strike and win it."

Edinburgh: Southwell, Paterson, MacRae, De Luca, Robertson, Godman, M. Blair, Jacobsen, Ford, G. Cross, C. Hamilton, Gissing, Mustchin, MacDonald, Hogg.
Replacements: A. Turnbull for Robertson (55), Callam for MacDonald (30). Not Used: Kelly, Kerr, Newlands, Laidlaw, Easson.

Munster: Howlett, Earls, Mafi, Tipoki, Dowling, O'Gara, O'Leary, Horan, Flannery, Pucciariello, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, D. Ryan, O'Sullivan, Wallace.
Replacements: Warwick for O'Gara (64), Stringer for O'Leary (60), Sheahan for Flannery (64), Buckley for Pucciariello (55), O'Driscoll for O'Callaghan (60), Melck for D. Ryan (70). Not Used: Murphy.

Att: 5,443

Ref: James Jones (WRFU).

see also
Paterson relishing return north
16 Jul 08 |  Rugby Union
Paterson to return to Edinburgh
02 May 08 |  Edinburgh
Edinburgh bring in lock Hamilton
02 May 08 |  Edinburgh
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment

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