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Munster have claimed their first home win of the Pro12 season with a bonus-point 28-14 victory over Edinburgh at Thomond Park.
Two tries from Conor Murray, and one apiece from Conor Oliver and Dave O’Callaghan did the damage for Munster, with Tyler Bleyendaal adding four conversions.
Edinburgh got two tries of their own through Chris Dean and John Hardie, with Duncan Weir and Blair Kinghorn adding conversions. But ultimately Munster were dominant enough across the field, especially in the scrum early on, to claim the win.
A first-half injury stoppage for Jack O’Donoghue, and another for Duncan Weir in the second period meant the tie lasted two-and-a-half-hours in duration from kick-off to the full-time whistle, with Munster second row and captain Billy Holland admitting the enforced stoppages cut most of the momentum out of the tie.
“It was the longest game I’ve ever been involved with anyway,” said Holland. “There was a few serious injuries and that kind of kills the momentum of the game, there’s not much you can do about that.
“Jack’s one, Duncan Weir in the second half. We held on for 10-15 minutes in the game, and it really does kill the momentum for both sides. Then you go to uncontested scrums. We had a lot of physicality and dominance in the scrums, and we lose that, so that was a bit tough.”
With a host of new faces in the Munster side, Holland was delighted with the performance and the victory given the circumstances, but highlighted a need for Munster to eradicate their own errors going forward.
“There was three fellows got their first caps today. Another fellow got his first start,’ said Holland. “We ended up with a prop in the second row. I ended up in the back row. There’s a lot of changes in there. To get the five points today we’ll be happy with that.
“There were too many mistakes in there which we need to eradicate. But I think the intent was excellent."
In terms of how crucial the win was for Munster, Holland was adamant it was vital given the side's defeat to Cardiff in their last home tie, and the basic need of claiming four points minimum at home on each outing.
“It’s hugely important. We need to get four points at home every time,' said Holland. "Two weeks ago losing in Cork just wasn’t good enough.
“Cardiff are an excellent side but it simply wasn’t good enough. So, to come here today, our first outing in Limerick for the season, and to come away with five points is great.
“(There’s) a lot of things to work on and injuries, but we’ll take five points against a good Edinburgh side any day of the week.”
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