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Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

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Edinburgh aim to mark Myreside move with a bang against Munster

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor 3 Feb 2017
Dave O'Callaghan

Neil Cochrane captains Edinburgh as they look to derail Munster’s title challenge in their first Guinness PRO12 game this season at new permanent home Myreside.

Duncan Hodge’s side gave their new home a fine christening against Timisoara Saracens in the European Rugby Challenge Cup as they won 49-3 to seal a home quarter-final.

But Rassie Erasmus’ side are unbeaten in the Guinness PRO12 since October, with a solitary loss away to Leicester Tigers in the Champions Cup the only stain on their record.

What’s at stake?

Despite their flying form in the Challenge Cup – where they beat Stade Francais at BT Murrayfield and a home-and-away double over Harlequins – Edinburgh have slipped to tenth in the Guinness PRO12.

A win for Hodge’s men would see them leapfrog Newport and Connacht Rugby into eighth place, but against second-place Munster, they won’t be in for an easy ride.

Erasmus’ team lost top spot to Ospreys after they missed a weekend due to rearranged European commitments and will be keen to rectify that at Myreside.

The Irish province are three points behind Tandy’s side, but have won the same number of games and any form of victory would see them return to the Guinness PRO12 summit.

Team news (Edinburgh)

With Ireland set to face Scotland at BT Murrayfield less than 24 hours later to kick off the 2017 RBS 6 Nations, both sides have lost bodies, but Edinburgh have maintained the core of their young side.

Blair Kinghorn starts at full-back, with Damien Hoyland and Tom Brown on the wings, and Chris Dean and Phil Burleigh in the centres.

Neil Cochrane skippers the side from hooker, while Scotland back-rowers Magnus Bradbury and John Hardie start on the flanks and recent addition to Vern Cotter’s RBS 6 Nations squad Cornell du Preez at No. 8.

Team news (Munster)

South African powerhouse centre Jaco Taute starts in the unfamiliar position of full-back, while former All Black Francis Saili pulls on the No. 13 jersey and Ronan O’Mahony, who has five tries in the Guinness PRO12 this year, staring on one wing and Dan Goggin on the other.

Ireland cap Jack O’Donoghue starts at No. 8, while Dave Foley and Jean Kleyn link up in the second-row.

Test trio Dave Kilcoyne, Billy Holland and Tommy O’Donnell – as well as Rory Scannell – are all among the replacements.

Talking points: With such heavy artillery kept in reserve, Munster can count on a real surge in the second half.

Kilcoyne, Holland, O’Donnell and Scannell have all been integral to Munster’s potent form since Erasmus took the reins and even if Edinburgh can make an impact with their powerful starting pack, they face a challenge when the Irishmen roll on their reinforcements.

In Stuart McInally and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Hodge has two Test players of his own to roll out as the game wears on, but in Hardie, Du Preez, Bradbury and Ben Toolis, he will hope his starters can soften up Erasmus’ charges.

Key battle:.Tyler Bleyendaal v Jason Tovey

With players missing on international duty, the role of these two playmakers becomes even more emphasised.

Jason Tovey has been a calming influence on Edinburgh when he has featured this term and is a perfect deputy to Duncan Weir.

The Welshman will be integral in bringing Du Preez and Bradbury into the game going forward.

Bleyendaal has been one of Europe’s form No.10s this year, racking up 139 points across all competitions and turning in a man-of-the-match performance in Munster’s remarkable 38-17 Champions Cup win over Glasgow Warriors.

The New Zealander is dangerous going forward and solid from the tee, if Edinburgh can stop him, they may be able to stop Munster.

Key stat: Munster have lost only one of their last ten encounters with Edinburgh in the Guinnnes PRO12, and that by a solitary point in Limerick in the opening round of the 2014/15 campaign.

Did you know?

The last time Edinburgh played a Guinness PRO12 game at Myreside was in February 2015 when they beat current league leaders Ospreys 24-16.

Edinburgh:

Top points scorer: 69 – Duncan Weir

Top try scorer: 4 – Magnus Bradbury

Munster:

Top points scorer: 78 – Tyler Bleyendaal

Top try scorer: 66 – Ronan O’Mahony

Overall Guinness PRO12 head to head record:
Played 29, Edinburgh won 6, Munster won 23.

At Myreside, 7.35pm Live on Sky Sports
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 33rd competition game)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell (WRU), Dunx Clement (SRU)
Citing Commissioner: Douglas Hunter (SRU)
TMO: Neil Hennessy

Guinness PRO12 Final 2017, 27th May, Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Ticket Information: Fans can still avail of an exclusive number of €30 tickets. Book via www.ticketmaster.ie. Further information: www.pro12rugby.com/final

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

O’Mahony leads Munster to top spot after Myreside nail-biter

Ross Lawson 3 Feb 2017

Munster reclaimed top spot in the Guinness PRO12 after a tense win against a stubborn Edinburgh Rugby side thanks to a second-half penalty from fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal.

It looked as though Munster’s winning sequence would be ended as Jason Tovey scored three first half penalties to hand the Scots a half-time lead.

However, Munster had remained in the contest, scoring their points thanks to a try from Ronan O’Mahony and a conversion from Bleyendaal.

But the game remained scoreless for much of the second half until Munster claimed the narrowest of wins against their Scottish opponents, with Bleyendaal’s crucial penalty in the final quarter of the game.

Edinburgh scored the first points on seven minutes, with fly-half Tovey firing over a penalty after Munster had been penalised at scrum-time for wheeling the set piece.

The visitors had targeted scrum dominance before kick-off, with Edinburgh minus a host of front-row options, but it was they that struck the first blow at the set piece at Myreside.

Munster are the form side in the Guinness PRO12 presently having won their last six games, with three of those wins earning a try-bonus point since their 25-14 reversal to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium on 8 October.

But it was Edinburgh who reacted best in the early stages to missing a host of star names to this weekend’s RBS 6 Nations as they dominated territory and possession.

The Irish province recovered after a slow start and wing O’Mahony was unlucky not to finish a dynamic break and kick through on 13 minutes with a score but Edinburgh’s defence managed to recover and touch the ball down behind their line.

But it didn’t take long for Munster to score the game’s first try however, as Bleyendaal created the opportunity with a smart off-load just metres from the line on 15 minutes and O’Mahony rumbled over from close range. The fly-half added the extras to make it 7-3.

The game looked to have turned on its head just ten minutes later as Munster scrum-half Duncan Williams was sin-binned for kicking the ball out of his opposite number Sean Kennedy’s hands and Edinburgh capitalised.

Tovey kicked the resulting penalty to bring his side back within a point of the high-flying visitors but the home side struggled to make their numerical advantage count in the ensuing ten minutes as Bleyendaal continually kicked for territory.

Edinburgh got their noses in front for the first time on the night, five minutes before the break, as Tovey slotted home his third penalty after Munster, who have lost only one of their last ten encounters with Duncan Hodge’s side, were once again penalised at the scrum.

Edinburgh ended a three-game losing run in the Guinness PRO12 with their 24-19 victory against Zebre in Parma on New Year’s Eve, but they looked a completely different side against Munster as they went toe-to-toe with the high-flying Irish side early in the second half.

In worsening conditions the game descended into a kicking duel after the break, with Kennedy and Edinburgh outdoing the visitors.

Jack O’Donoghue made a meaningful break just before the hour mark for Munster, showing explosive pace but after storming into the Edinburgh 22, the ball was turned over at the breakdown.

Munster got their noses back in front on 67 minutes with the first points of the second half. Edinburgh were penalised at the breakdown and Bleyendaal made no mistake with a penalty.

Blair Kinghorn was handed a late chance to win it for Edinburgh with a penalty from the halfway line with the final play of the game but his effort fell agonisingly short.

Munster saw the game out to keep their impressive PRO12 run of results going, notching their sixth away-day win of the competition this season.

Guinness PRO12 Final 2017, 27th May, Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Ticket Information: Fans can still avail of an exclusive number of €30 tickets. Book via www.ticketmaster.ie. Further information: www.pro12rugby.com/final

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138