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Penney: Keatley mature beyond his years

Guinness PRO12 Editor

4 Sep 2012

Munster's Ian Keatley kicks a penalty on route to a 10-point haul for the fly-half

Munster director of rugby Rob Penney admits it was a relief to get his feet under the table with an opening day win and sited fly-half Ian Keatley as the man who made the difference against Edinburgh.

Last year’s RaboDirect PRO12 semi-finalists took an under-strength side to Murrayfield on Saturday but 18 points from Ireland international Keatley saw them home to a 23-18 victory.

The 25-year-old got the visitors off and running with a try just before the break to cancel out an earlier effort from the dangerous Tim Visser, who scored a hat-trick, but a further two conversions and three penalties saw Penney’s troops off to the perfect start.

“I thought Ian – without pre-empting anything – showed a great deal of maturity and that's what we are looking for from a young (number) ten,” said former Canterbury head coach Penney.

“He is able to guide the team around the park and do the basics well. A lot of credit to the young man, he has shown a lot of fortitude and his perseverance is starting to pay off.

“We worked up some things during the week and I thought the boys played a lot of rugby, which was pleasing.

“We reduced the amount of unforced errors, which we had been guilty of in pre- season and I thought we defended with a massive amount of determination.

“I suppose the most pleasing aspect is that we leave here with a degree of confidence in what we are trying to do. The boys are pretty chuffed with themselves which is a great spur for them.”