Heineken Cup: Munster beat Edinburgh to keep their hopes alive
Last Updated: January 13, 2013 4:35pm
Munster claimed a 26-17 Heineken Cup victory at Edinburgh but were unable to earn the bonus point they craved.
Indeed, it was Edinburgh who finished the stronger of the two sides with a brace of second-half tries from winger Dougie Fife - their first of the European campaign.
Munster move past Racing Metro into second place in Pool 1 on 15 points but will need to beat their rivals and await other results if they are to reach the knockout stages.
Conor Murray crossed in the second-half after Munster were awarded a penalty try while Ronan O'Gara kicked 16 points, but they went largely unrewarded for long periods of possession.
Munster led 12-3 at the break following a flat first-half that saw O'Gara open the scoring when stroking over a penalty from in front of the posts after Stuart McInally was penalised.
O'Gara pulled his next effort to the left but doubled the advantage when Willem Nel was adjudged to have collapsed a scrum inside the home 22, and a repeat offence saw the visitors 9-0 ahead on half an hour.
Greig Laidlaw cut the deficit but O'Gara hit back again before the interval as Edinburgh continued to lose out at the scrum.
After a period of heavy pressure Edinburgh won a penalty but when Richie Rees attempted to run the ball out of defence, he was blocked by Dave Kilcoyne whose indiscretion earned him 10 minutes in the sin bin.
But then a forward pass by Dave Denton in the shadow of the home posts handed Munster a scrum that was to prove pivotal in the game.
More pressure saw Munster resort to the boot of Murray whose chip ahead was palmed clear by Laidlaw. After calling for assistance from the video official, the referee yellow carded the Edinburgh captain for a deliberate knock-on.
The Scots then collapsed the ensuing scrum, handing Munster a penalty try which O'Gara converted to hand the visitors a 19-3 lead they still held entering the final quarter.
The visitors went after the bonus point and Murray capped a renewed series of phases by plunging over from close range. O'Gara's successful conversion was his final contribution before being replaced.
But, despite numerous opportunities to add to their tally, the visitors paid the price for a lack of composure within sight of the line when Edinburgh struck on the counter-attack - Matt Scott carrying the ball into contact before it was moved wide where Fife dived over. Laidlaw thumped over the conversion.
And the skipper again added the extras after Fife crashed through two tackles to go in for a second time three minutes from the end of the match.