Edinburgh 29 Munster 23 match report: Greig Laidlaw kicks rebuilding Scots to shock victory
Sunday 13 October 2013
Edinburgh's head coach Alan Solomons believes his side is still some way off being a competitive unit, despite masterminding them to a shock Heineken Cup win over Munster. He watched his side survive a first-half battering from the Irishmen yet still led at the break before snatching a 29-23 victory with Tim Visser's late try.
Winning form was not a luxury Edinburgh carried with them as they kicked off against the two-time European champions at home. The Scots lost all six of their pool games last season but opened up this year's campaign with their first success since beating Toulouse in the quarter-finals of the 2011-12 competition.
Solomons – who only took over a month before the season started – has since watched his men sink to the depths of the RaboDirect Pro12 table with win just one win from five games.
But 19 points from their captain Greig Laidlaw kept them competitive as they made the most of their meagre opportunities to shock Rob Penney's team.
However, Solomons said: "We know we have got a long way to go. We are under no illusions on that. But to me, it is important that we keep improving week by week. It was great for the guys and a real boost to their confidence.
"What we have been saying is that we need to be performance-focused not result-focused. I'm a massive believer that the difference between success and failure is the finest line in the world. If you persevere, you will cross that line."
Matt Scott had given the home side the lead just six minutes in but tries from Casey Laulala and Mike Sherry handed the advantage to Munster.
Laidlaw was his ever reliable self with the boot and four penalties before the break had Edinburgh ahead again, only for opposition kicker Ian Keatley to strike twice after the interval as the Irishmen edged back in front.
But with 10 minutes left and Munster growing increasingly confident, Visser collected from Gilchrist to run in from 30 yards for a sucker punch the visitors did not see coming. The TMO was called in to rule on Scott's collision with JJ Hanrahan as the Munster replacement let fly with the boot in the build-up, but the Scotland centre was cleared of obstruction leaving the home fans to celebrate as an unlikely victory was sealed with two more successful kicks from captain Laidlaw.
The scrum-half did hit the crossbar in the final stages but that did not prevent him being named man of the match as he also took himself beyond 500 points for Edinburgh.
Solomons added: "I don't want to take anything away from anyone in the team because I felt everybody played well. But I thought Greig led the side really, really well."
Munster had touched down in the Scottish capital fresh from their impressive 19-15 win over Leinster last week but there was little sign of their first-half dominance after the break, leaving Penney to question his team's attitude.
He said: "Edinburgh are a good side and deserved their win. We are ruing some poor mental preparation because you don't change from one week to the next like that physically in any way. Our mental application was nowhere near what it needed to be.
"I can't take anything away from Edinburgh at all. They nullified our threat, defended well and took their opportunities. Laidlaw kicked beautifully and the proof is in the pudding. We weren't good at all but that's not taking anything away from Edinburgh. We were not allowed to be good."
Edinburgh J Cuthbert; D Fife, N De Luca, M Scott, T Visser; H Leonard, G Laidlaw (capt); A Dickinson (W Blaauw, 70), R Ford, W Nel (G Cross, 70), G Gilchrist, S Cox, D Basilaia (R Grant, 20), C Du Preez, D Denton.
Munster F Jones (JJ Hanrahan, 66); K Earls, C Laulala, J Downey (D Hurley, 60), S Zebo (Williams, 72); I Keatley, C Murray; D Kilcoyne (J Cronin, 53), M Sherry (D Varley, 58), S Archer (BJ Botha, 53); D Ryan, P O'Connell (capt), P Butler (CJ Stander, 54), N Ronan (D O'Callaghan, 64), J Coughlan.
Referee JP Doyle (RFU).
Tries: Scott, Visser
Cons: Laidlaw 2
Pens: Laidlaw 5
Tries: Laulala, Sherry
Cons: Keatley 2
Pens: Keatley 3
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