Doug Howlett stars in Munster victory

Doug Howlett was the star of the show, as he scored two tries in Munsters Magners League win over Edinburgh on Friday night.

Tony Buckley also scored a five pointer, while Ronan O’Gara hit a further eight points as Tony McGahan’s side consolidated their position at the head of the table.

Edinburgh played very well in the first half and prop forward Geoff Cross scored a try that put them five point in front.

However, Munster were far superior after the restart and easily claimed the victory. Led by Irish internationals O’Gara, Peter Stringer and Denis Leamy, the reds were always holding the upper hand here.

Tony Buckley also contributed very well on his first start since announcing his decision to move clubs at the end of the season. He was solid in the scrum and was involved in open play throughout, also crossing over for a try. Damien Varley, Lifeimi Mafi and Paul Warwick also showed up well.

Munster were behind after just three minutes when Chris Patterson hit a penalty for Edinburgh. However, O’Gara soon tied the game with a penalty of his own before Buckley barged over from close range to give his side a comfortable advantage after 13 minutes.

O’Gara missed the conversion, and soon after Paterson narrowed the gap with another penalty, before Cross scored a close-range try to put the Scots in front 13-8. Mafi the made and excellent break before offloading to Howlett who ran in from 30 metres to tie the contest at 13-13.

Munster took the lead again after the restart, with O’Gara landing his second penalty of the night. Howlett then crossed over for his second try midway through the half and Munster looked save after that. O’Gara added the conversion and Munster led 23-13.

Munster – J Murphy, D Howlett, L Mafi, P Warwick, D Hurley (S Zebo 74); R O’Gara, P Stringer (D Williams 69); W du Preez (M Horan 63), D Varley(D Fogarty 69), T Buckley; D Ryan, M O’Driscoll; D Leamy (capt), T O’Donnell (B Holland 60), J Coughlan.

Edinburgh – C Paterson; L Jones (S Webster 74), B Cairns (N De Luca 71), J King, T Visser; D Blair, G Laidlaw (capt); K Traynor (L Niven 57), A Kelly, G Cross (D Young 77); S MacLeod, S Turnbull; F McKenzie (R Grant 71), R Rennie (A MacDonald 36), N Talei.

Ref – Nigel Owens


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