Heineken Cup 2014: Munster beat Edinburgh to secure home tie
Heineken Cup 2014: Munster set up a home quarter-final after an emphatic win against Edinburgh on Sunday
Munster set up a home Heineken Cup quarter-final after an emphatic win over Edinburgh at Thomond Park.
Having already qualified from Pool 6 and buoyed by Toulouse failing to achieve the same feat against Zebre 24 hours earlier, the Limerick-based province knew fate was in their hands if they could get four tries.
Edinburgh took the lead through a Chris Laidlaw penalty on eight minutes before James Coughlan ghosted through the Edinburgh defence to make an immediate response after Paul O’Connell collected the restart.
Johne Murphy touched down for Munster’s second try on 21 minutes with Ian Keatley making up for an earlier miss by adding the extras.
Laidlaw reduced the score to 12-6 with his second successful kick just before the half-hour mark before the Gunners’ defence capitulated.
Edinburgh flanker Cornell du Preez was sent to the sin bin by referee Wayne Barnes with the clock red at the end of the first half for a leading-with-the-head reckless tackle on O’Connell, who was wrapped up in a maul.
With the Scottish side down to 14 men, Munster got a perfect start to the second half with a third try as they stretched Edinburgh, Conor Murray diving over from a metre out after a team effort involving Felix Jones, Keatley and Tommy O’Donnell.
Thomond Park erupted on 56 minutes as went over for the crucial fourth try as captain Peter O’Mahony drove through the Edinburgh defence after a well-executed line-out near the five-metre line.
Irish winger Simon Zebo scored his ninth Heineken Cup try in 16 appearances, and Munster’s fifth of the match, as Munster ramped up the pressure on an ever-wilting Edinburgh defence and the celebrations got into full swing as Zebo dived over down the blind side from a metre out.
With Munster’s forwards dominating the lineout and driving maul, and Edinburgh being penalised for illegal entry, the Pro12 leaders closed out the match with a series of catch and drive phases close to the Edinburgh tryline.
Edinburgh substitute prop Geoff Cross was sin-binned six minutes before the final whistle after a warning from Barnes was ignored by the visiting forwards, unable to stand up to the physicality thrown at them from all angles.
From the resulting penalty, Munster went for another lineout before playing the ball through the hands out to the right wing for Jones to go over in the corner for a sixth try.
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