Keith Earls scored a brace as Munster defeated Edinburgh 17-13 in their European Champions Cup quarter-final at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Very little separated the sides, with Earls’ brilliantly executed brace proving pivotal.
Edinburgh started brightly and had Munster on the ropes early in the game. With his team frantically defending on their own line, Munster’s Tadhg Beirne was yellow-carded for slowing the ball down.
But Edinburgh failed to capitalise on the man-over advantage. Instead, Munster counterpunched and landed a big blow when they worked their way to the other end of the field, before Earls barged over from close range for a converted try.
Edinburgh then scored 10 unanswered points, including a conversion and penalty from former Lion Jaco van der Walt.
Munster were dealt a further blow when they lost playmaker Joey Carbery to an injury, with Tyler Bleyendaal coming on.
Shortly after the restart, Bleyendaal and Van der Walt traded penalties.
With nine minutes remaining, Munster fullback Andrew Conway ran on to the ball at pace and offloaded to Earls, who outpaced the cover defence to score the match-winning try.
Edinburgh – Try: Chris Dean. Conversion: Jaco van der Walt. Penalties: Van der Walt (2).
Munster –Tries: Keith Earls (2). Conversions: Joey Carbery, Tyler Bleyendaal. Penalty: Bleyendaal.
Edinburgh – 15 Darcy Graham, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (c), 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Magnus Bradbury, 20 Jamie Ritchie, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Mark Bennett.
Munster – 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jack O’Donoghue, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Subs: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Dan Goggin.
Photo: Munster Rugby