Munster 33 – Edinburgh 0

 Posted by on October 21, 2012  Add comments
Oct 212012

We needed a lift.  Let’s be honest about it, with all the misery going round, we desperately needed some kind of respite.  As if losing last week to Racing Metro wasn’t bad enough, we’re now reeling under the Merkelbot’s dismissive crushing of Enda’s hopes with the sort of Thatcherian  Raus! Raus! Raus!  the Iron Lady might have been proud of.  Everything is heading south: our income, our house values, our spirits and our children, so a little bit of a lift was in order.  After all, how could we face the rest of this year, including the looming Bludget, without some hope of qualifying for the European Cup?

Rob Penney

There are those who say that Rob Penney’s open, expansive style of rugby doesn’t suit Munster, and it’s easy to see why.  Even though Edinburgh were clearly inferior in every aspect of the game, they managed to hold the score to only 6-0 going in at half time, and that was despite losing in the lineout, losing in the scrum and losing in the ruck, not to mention constantly losing possession through silly, unforced errors.  And yet, in a style of play where shirt-numbers mean nothing, where everyone takes on every role and where second-rows double as wingers, the statistics were clear: in the first half, Munster enjoyed 70% of the possession and spent most of the time inside the Edinburgh 22.  Somehow, though, they couldn’t turn the advantage into points on the board.

Things picked up in the second half, with Conor Murray going over for a try, and partially making up for the disaster of a game he had last week against Racing.  With Keatley’s conversion and another penalty, the score hit  16-0 and Edinburgh were going nowhere, but that was when Munster went back to basics.  Somehow, with only ten minutes left on the clock, they got it into their heads that maybe they could score three more tries to secure a bonus point.

It’s a big ask, I informed my companions.  Three tries in ten minutes? Hmm.

That’s exactly what happened, thanks largely to sheer aggression and muscle from the forwards, with Dougall, O’Mahony and Varley grabbing a try each as my companions laughed at me.

I don’t mind being laughed at when things go that well, but there’s work to be done, as Penney himself acknowledges.  I think we can take a lot of hope out of this game.  Today’s performance was at least encouraging, and while it wasn’t strong enough to frighten Saracens, the new wide game seems to suit the likes of Zebo, Howlett and Laulala very well indeed, while the old Munster qualities of doggedness in the pack remain alive and well.

It could turn out to be a winning combination if Penney can manage to tidy up the looseness on the ball, cut down the handling errors and perhaps consider replacing one or two players who served Munster well over the years but who might be ready to move on and make way for new blood.

There’s probably a good amount of mental adjustment required as the players come to terms with the new head coach’s systems, but the signs are promising with so many really young guys in the squad.  Zebo, O Mahony, Kilcoyne, Dougall and Murray are all 23 or under.  Keatley and Earls are only 25 while the old men of the squad, like Paul O Connell and Dougie Howlett are still world-class players.


I feel encouraged by this result, although I know that people will be wondering if Penney is going in the right direction or if he should be trying to rebuild the old Munster.

Who knows?


  9 Responses to “Munster 33 – Edinburgh 0”

Comments (9)

    I tried to rebuild the old Munster. The results were horrible, stitches melting in the rain, ginger tops on south pacific torsos….


    A wins a win etc but we’ll win fuck all else if POC and DOC are taking the ball on out on the wings after ten phases, call me old fashoined but that’s Zebo n Dougie’s job FFS. Edinburgh were unbelievably shite though, Saracens will be an altogether different proposition, we’ve been here before. Kilcoyne turning into a contender for the 6 nations and fair play to him!


    @Pauleire +1. Big lads in tight: get off the wing.

    That said, O’Mahoney is playing a blinder these days. Also: Keatley – you can’t keep the Belvo boys down!

    Edinburgh were just awful. Anyway, a wins and win and I’ll always support an Irish team when they’re playing someone else.

    Just Leinster first, donchaknow.


    The ” new style ” is just fine…as long as there’s leadership on the field willing and able to vary it, if the ” new style ” achieves nothing except lateral movement.


    Lateral movement has been the feature of Munster back play for far too long and it took JJ to make a break to lead to Dougall’s try.All well and good having frwards on the wing if they have hands like the All Blacks but if you expect DOC to do that overnight it’s going to be a very long season. Great points out of Quinny in the Irish Times today about a few things,particularly about Keatley taking amonth to take the conversion after the third try. Should’ve dropped it even and get back for the drop off. However there was no ROG,POC or Dougie on the field for our last try and it will stand the new brigade in good stead that they achieved that last try. However they should’ve had Edinburgh who were truly truly awful killed off long before then. lots of things to be adressed but we’re ahead of where anyone expected us to be at this stage of our reincarnation. Well done to Kilcoyne on his selection today, he deserves it. Can see Du Preez getting left off at the end of the season to make room for a world class Out half or back row, or even a 12, if they dont give JJ a run there first.


    I think alot of these players should be sent to the southern hemisphere straight out of school, the lessons they would learn in committment to attacking rugby would force Ireland into the modern game.
    We cant play mostly eight man rugby forever


    In fairness to Leinster they were superb in attack last night and Cardiff simply couldn’t handle the pace. They had given up after 5 minutes. Any SH team would struggle with that kind of attack,handling and offloading. Munster are now the student of Leinster, the opposite of what it had been for all those years. Munster had their shit together in this aspect of the game for the 07/08 and 08/09 seasons,(remember the complete dismantling of the Ospreys in T park for the quarter finals that year?) As far as you can get from 8 or ten man rugby) until the wheels came off so shockingly in Croker that infamous day. Interesting to read on other forums about Penney’s philosophy and according to the Kiwis, his teams are well known for scoring lots of tries at the end of games having worn teams down. He and Mannix will definitely add a less lateral style of play, how much less only time will tell. Kidney and Ireland are a far more worrying prospect however, he’s a few years behind the modern thinkers of the game.


    I definately agree that Leinster could hold their own with most southern hemisphere teams and the fact that Muster seem to finish strong these days.

    We are in a rebuilding period and hope we just dont get desperate with rash signings

    The potential is there, JJ is definately one to watch, O’Mahony and Earls are still young, Kilcoyne will be an animal, Danny Barnes has potential, Murray is still a bit raw at times but is a fantastic player, Zebo is unreal

    The list of potential goes on and on, patience is all thats needed


    We’re further down the raod to recovery than expected in my book. Killer is definitely a future irish loosehead. Potential is the buzz word alright. Having watched the legacy Penney has left behind in the ITM final with Canterbury winning their fith cup in a row the other night I genuinely believe we are looking at another ten years of dominance once it all clicks. Tom Taylor was at full back,a player who has pushed Carter into the 12 position for the Crusaders a few times this season. Jj’s biggest flaws are his consistency and his defense, time will tell.his kicking out of hand was awful in the charity cup final this season. I do feel there will be a clear out of some new and old signings at the end of the season. In Penney we should trust.

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