ANTHONY Foley’s reign as Munster head coach began with a disappointing 14-13 defeat to Edinburgh in their opening Guinness PRO12 fixture of the season at Thomond Park this Friday night.
Two tries from flanker CJ Stander couldn’t prevent Munster from shipping a third successive defeat at Thomond Park for the first time in professional era.
Despite playing second fiddle for much of the game, Munster did have an opportunity to ‘steal’ a victory late on. However, Ian Keatley’s stoppage time penalty from Edinburgh’s 10m line slid narrowly right and wide.
Three Tom Heathcote penalties and a try from Jack Cuthbert helped Edinburgh secure a deserve victory. The Scottish side led 9-5 at half-time.
Hooker Kevin O’Byrne, back rower Shane Buckley and centre Andrew Smith all made their competitive debuts for Munster in the opening round game.
Next up for Munster is an away tie against Benetton Treviso in Italy on Friday night next.
MUNSTER: Ronan O’Mahony; Andrew Conway, Johne Murphy, Andrew Smith, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Kevin O’Byrne, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan (capt), Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Sean Dougall, Shane Buckley. Replacements: Duncan Casey, Alan Cotter, Stephen Archer, David Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Cathal Sheridan, Johnny Holland, Ivan Dineen.
EDINBURGH: Jack Cuthbert; Dougie Fife, Sam Beard, Andries Strauss, Tim Visser; Tom Heathcote, Sean Kennedy; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford (capt), John Andress, Fraser McKenzie, Ollie Atkins, Tomas Leonardi, Hamish Watson, Cornell du Preez. Replacements: James Hilterbrand, Rory Sutherland, WP Nel, Ben Toolis, Mike Coman, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Nick McLennan, Phil Burleigh.
REFEREE: Leighton Hodges (Wales)