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Munster: 13 (5) Edinburgh Rugby: 14 (9)

Competing at the top level requires a steely determination and an unwillingness to back down under pressure.  Retaining your composure as the clock ticks down can be as important as ability.  But enough about 'The Great British Bakeoff', Edinburgh just held on at Thomond Park on Friday evening to get season 2014/15 underway with an excellent away win.  And it was fitting that the Gunners' own elite baker, full back Jack Cuthbert, scored their only try of the evening, a score that was to prove crucial.

There has been much excitement in some sections of the press about this being the Embramen's first win at Thomond.  In fact, they have done so in the past.  But it was way back in the mists of time, under the Carruthers regime.  So special was that victory, indeed, that a commemorative DVD was produced of the match.  Munster are under new management and this was their third straight home loss, but this is not an easy place to come at the best of times and the capital club should take some satisfaction from the result.

They should take even more from the way they played.  The pack at times dominated the enemy eight, while one could argue with justification that a bit more accuracy would have seen the visitors emerge with a greater winning margin.  As it was, one felt that Mike Coman was very unlucky to be penalised at the breakdown to give up three points to Keatley late on, a score that made the finale rather more exciting than it should have been.

Edinburgh were on the board first, late replacement stand-off Tom Heathcote knocking over an early penalty after Munster's Botha had stood up under pressure in the scrummage.  And it was the same offender who gave Heathcote his second three pointer inside the first ten minutes, this time for offside.  The Gunners were smashing the Munster pack at scrum time throughout the first quarter and things were looking good.

The tide turned around the half hour.  Firstly, Heathcote missed a penalty after Munster's Williams' cynical deliberate knock-on with Embra threatening.  Then Leonardi became the first of three visiting yellow cards, off for a dangerous tackle on Zebo.  Stander made Edinburgh pay with a close in try before the break, but Keatley's missed conversion saw the visitors a deserved 9-5 up as, although a Visser try was chalked off by the TMO for a forward pass, a Munster offence earlier in the move gave Heathcote his third penalty of the half.

The Embramen evidently decided that playing short handed against the former European champs at their fortress was not tough enough, so the impressive Hamish Watson also went to the bin shortly after the restart to leave the Gunners operating with only thirteen on the park for a spell.  Yet they still managed to score after Leonardi had returned, with Cuthbert getting first to a kick behind the defence for his touchdown.  Although Heathcote missed the wide conversion, the Gunners were 14-5 up with half an hour left.

Munster's South African back row Stander scored his second try on the hour, again unconverted, to take the Irish side to 10-14 down and all to play for going into the final quarter.  Although Keatley missed the extras that time, he had a simple kick off Coman's penalty with ten minutes left to liven up an oddly subdued home crowd.

But Edinburgh held out.  They played much of the remainder of the match in the enemy half, running down the clock.  Yet one felt that the decision to ask Heathcote to take a long shot at goal with 90 seconds remaining was a mistake.  It would surely have been better to have kicked to the 22 and stuffed the ball up the jumper after the lineout.  As it was, he missed the difficult kick and Munster worked their way up the park, eventually forcing a penalty on the Embramen's ten.  It was not Thorburn-esque in its distance and pretty straight, but the home stand-off still pushed it wide to see Edinburgh emerge with a tight but well deserved victory.

So a good start to the league campaign for an Edinburgh side who are chasing, at the very least, a top six placing this term.  With the attitude they displayed on Friday night, that should be well within their reach.  Next up, Connacht at home next Friday.  Let's see if this will be the first step in creating a Fortress Murrayfield.