Four-star Munster maintain momentum
November 26, 2011
Denis Hurley did get amongst the tries but the fullback played his part in Munster's third win on the spin
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Resurgent Munster made it three wins on the bounce in all competitions with a 34-17 victory over Edinburgh at Thomond Park on Saturday night.
Centre Danny Barnes, 22, crossed for his fourth try of the season and 21-year-old wing duo Simon Zebo and Luke O'Dea also touched down.
Edinburgh could not survive after having props Jack Gilding and Kyle Traynor sin-binned in the second half, conceding a penalty try as Munster went on to claim a deserved bonus point.
Munster fly-half Ian Keatley missed with an early penalty, but it was his clever switch of attack that created the opening for the first try.
Keatley darted out to the left before linking with man of the match Denis Hurley, who broke through the first line of defence and released Barnes to finish off the move.
Keatley converted but then turned into the villain as his loose kick was gobbled up by Gilding, who set Netani Talei off on a powerful run before offloading to put Phil Godman over in the left corner. Godman missed the conversion and after Keatley was also off target with a penalty, the home fly-half was successful to make it 10-5.
The one-way traffic continued as the home pack patiently gained ground, although Will Chambers held onto the ball too long when an overlap presented itself on the right.
Paddy Butler was unfortunate to knock on as the ball squirted out of an Edinburgh ruck close to their line, but the Scots survived until Keatley landed his second successful penalty to leave it 13-5 at the break.
Harry Thompson, 19, introduced for the injured Jim Thompson, was off target with a monster penalty from the left, but Edinburgh did manage to pick up the first points of the second period.
They attacked down the left and although O'Dea succeeded in bringing down the advancing Tom Brown, the Edinburgh winger's momentum helped him stretch for the line. Television match official Jude Quinn confirmed the grounding. Godman's missed conversion left Munster with a three-point lead and their forwards turned up the heat after a bulldozing midfield run from Zebo.
Edinburgh had tight-head Gilding sin-binned for slowing up ruck ball and after a series of five-metre scrums, Traynor joined him or dropping his bind.
At the next scrum, Munster marched over the line and Stuart McInally coughed up the penalty try as he broke early in trying to stop Butler from scoring. Keatley added the extras and soon after Chambers drew in two defenders to put Zebo over for try number three. Keatley converted but Edinburgh, now restored to 15 men, responded in impressive fashion.
Sep Visser was held up over the line before Greig Laidlaw took advantage of a slip from Chambers to glide over by the posts. However, O'Dea had the final say, dotting down Keatley's finely-judged kick for the right corner as Munster climbed into third place ahead of next weekend's trip to the table-topping Ospreys.
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