MUNSTER can look forward to a precious home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup in April after securing a resounding 38-6 bonus point win over Edinburgh before a capacity crowd at Thomond Park this Sunday.
Rob Penney’s side ran in six tries to ensure their 15th Heineken Cup quarter-final appearance in 16 seasons will be a home one against either Toulouse or great rivals Leinster.
Man-of-the-match James Coughlan and Johne Murphy touched down in a first half which ended 12-6 in Munster’s favour, with Edinburgh flanker Cornell du Preez seeing yellow in first half injury-time.
The one down side for Munster during the game was the unfortunate leg injury ustained by in-form winger Keith Earls which foreced him off the pitch in the opening half.
Two Greig Laidlaw penalties kept Edinburgh in the hunt for an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final place, but those hopes faded as the Irish province registered their bonus point by the 57th minute.
Captain Peter O’Mahony followed Conor Murray over the try-line and further efforts from Simon Zebo and Felix Jones made for a stylish six-try romp.
Munster seem to save some of their best rugby for round six, as this was their fourth successive bonus-point success at this stage - adding to wins in previous years over London Irish, Northampton Saints and Racing Metro 92.
SCORERS: Munster: Johne Murphy, James Coughlan, Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony, Simon Zebo, Felix Jones try each, Ian Keatley four cons. Greig Laidlaw two pens.
MUNSTER: Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Johne Murphy; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; David Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, Stephen Archer, David Foley, Paul O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan.
Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paddy Butler, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Simon Zebo.
EDINBURGH: Jack Cuthbert; Dougie Fife, Nick De Luca, Ben Atiga, Tom Brown; Greig Tonks, Greig Laidlaw (capt); Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Willem Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Izak van der Westhuizen, Cornell du Preez, Roddy Grant, David Denton.
Replacements: Aleki Lutui, Wicus Blaauw, Geoff Cross, Ollie Atkins, Tomas Leonardi, Grayson Hart, Carl Bezuidenhout, Joaquin Dominguez.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)