Munster get Rabo season off to winning start

Munster captain James Coughlan
MUNSTER made an excellent start to their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign when recording an emphatic 34-23 victory over Edinburghat Musgrave Park on Saturday night.

MUNSTER made an excellent start to their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign when recording an emphatic 34-23 victory over Edinburghat Musgrave Park on Saturday night.

Before a crowd of almost 6,500, Munster laid the foundation for this win in the opening half, after which the home side led 22-6.

Prop James Cronin marked his first senior start by bagging one of the three touchdowns, while Denis Hurley and James Coughlan also crossed the whitewash in the opening 40 minutes.

Munster, who had won their last five meetings against Edinburgh in all competitions, wrapped up the bonus point through an Ivan Dineen try in the second half, while UL-Bohs scrum half Cathal Sheridan, who came on as a second half replacement, sent his clubmate JJ Hanrahan over for the home side’s fifth try.

Edinburgh’s starting line-up included Limerick-born scrum-half Sean Kennedy, who played under-age rugby with St Mary’s RFC and attended Scoil Ide in Corbally, before moving to Scotland as an 11-year-old.

SCORERS – Munster: JJ Hanrahan try, con, Denis Hurley, James Coughlan, James Cronin, Ivan Dineen try each, Ian Keatley two cons, one pen Edinburgh: Nick de Luca, Lee Jones try each, Piers Francis, two pens, one con, Harry Leonard pen, con.

MUNSTER – Denis Hurley; Ronan O’Mahony, Casey Laulala, Ivan Dineen, Johne Murphy; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, David Foley, Donncha O’Callaghan, David O’Callaghan, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan (capt). Replacements used: Damien Varley, David Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, Cathal Sheridan, JJ Hanrahan, Cian Bohane.

EDINBURGH – Greig Tonks; Dougie Fife, Nick De Luca, Ben Atiga, Lee Jones; Piers Francis, Sean Kennedy; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Izak van der Westhuizen, Sean Cox (capt), Roddy Grant, David Denton.

Replacements: Aleki Lutui, Geoff Cross, Lewis Niven, Ollie Atkins, Hamish Watson, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Harry Leonard, Jack Cuthbert.

REFEREE – Marius Mitrea (Italy)