Edinburgh shock Munster in Heineken Cup

Edinburgh pulled off the first Heineken Cup shock of the season when they beat Munster 29-23 at Murrayfield in Pool 6.

Edinburgh went into the lead in the final quarter thanks to a try from Tim Visser and then a further penalty from Greg Laidlaw.

Laidlaw hit the post with his final penalty attempt which would have robbed former Heineken Cup champions Munster a losing bonus point.

The result ends Edinburgh’s run of six successive defeats and is the perfect
start for new coach Alan Solomons.

Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw was the driving force, kicking 19 points
including converting the two Edinburgh tries as they made an impressive start
to their campaign.

Two time champions Munster, who also lost their opening pool match last term,
took the consolation of a defensive bonus point.

In a pool that also contains Perpignan and Gloucester, Edinburgh can have realistic
hopes of reaching the last eight like they did two years ago.

Edinburgh burst out of the blocks against Munster, opening up a 10-0 lead after
just 12 minutes.

A fine try by Matt Scott which was converted by Laidlaw and then a penalty
from the kicker had the Irishmen rattled.

However, the European heavyweights hit back to level at 10-10 in the 20th minute
as Kiwi centre Casey Laulala scored, only his second try in the competition
in 24 games.

Donnacha Ryan blocked Laidlaw’s clearing kick from a line-out and the ball
got moved along to Laulala who burst over the line to touch down from five metres
out — it was converted by Ian Keatley, who had got them off the mark with a
penalty.

Munster conceded a penalty immediately after equalising, which Laidlaw gratefully
accepted to give the hosts a 13-10 lead, only for Munster to reply with another
try through Mike Sherry, who picked up from a metre out and hurled himself across
the line — Keatley converted for 17-13.

However, more ill discipline by Munster saw Laidlaw knock over another two
penalties to give the hosts the lead once again at 19-17.

Keatley slotted over a penalty from wide out on the left in the 53rd minute
to give the visitors a one point lead, 20-19.

Just over 10 minutes later, as Munster poured on the pressure, Keatley converted
another penalty after an Edinburgh infringement, to give them a 23-19 lead.

However, the hosts went back in front with a fine try by Scotland’s Dutch-born
wing Tim Visser, whose electric pace proved too much for the two Munster covering
defenders.

Laidlaw continued his faultless day as he converted for 26-23 and Munster’s
afternoon got worse as their Irish win Simon Zebo was forced off with what looked
like a hamstring injury.

Laidlaw made it seven kicks from seven attempts with just over four minutes
remaining, as he harried Munster into another infringement, to leave Munster
requiring a converted try to win.

Munster’s fellow Irish provinces Ulster and Connacht had enjoyed mixed fortunes
on Friday.

Ulster recorded a splendid 22-16 victory over English giants and two-time European
champions Leicester in Pool 5 while Connacht, traditionally the weakest of the
four provinces, went down to a 23-17 defeat at home to English side Saracens
in Pool 3.

France’s four-time winners Toulouse top that pool after predictably whopping
Italian outfit Zebre 38-5.

Final Score Edinburgh 29 (19) Munster 23 (17)

Scorers

Edinburgh
Tries – Scott, Visser
Pen – Laidlaw 6
Con – Laidlaw 2
Drop –

Munster
Tries – Laulala, Sherry
Pen – Keatley3
Con – Keatley 2
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee:
JP Doyle (England),
Assistant ref: David Rose (England),
A

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