Munster, fielding a team dominated by young, up and coming players, brought the curtain down on their season with a gutsy 27-25 win over Zebre at the Stadio XXV Aprile in Parma.
Despite tries from Johne Murphy and Paddy Butler - Murphy almost snatched a second - Munster trailed 22-14 at half-time and again by five points on the hour mark.
However, Rob Penney's men managed to work a good try scored by South African prop BJ Botha in the 65th minute that Ian Keatley converted for the vital two-point lead.
Paul O'Connell and his team-mates had to survive an onslaught in the final ten minutes from the Italians, who watched their out-half Daniel Halangahu miss a touchline penalty which grazed the post.
Munster then lifted their game in timely fashion to end proceedings pressing inside the Zebre 22, winning a scrum penalty that was kicked to touch to end what had been a good, closely-fought contest.
Halangahu gave the hosts, who were desperate for their first win of the season, the lead with a very early penalty but Munster showed good hands - with Denis Hurley and Casey Laulala prominent in the build-up - to send Murphy clear and he, in turn, showed good pace to get in at the right corner.
Keatley, operating at inside centre with JJ Hanrahan positioned at number 10, added the extras.
Then it was Zebre's turn to apply pressure and after a television match official review, Sinoti Sinoti was awarded a try with Halangahu missing the conversion from wide out.
Four minutes later, the impressive Butler crossed the whitewash and Murphy, who had a strong showing throughout, was unlucky not to score a second.
Zebre though seized the initiative with a Giovanbattista Venditti try and then, in first half injury-time, Gonzalo Garcia stepped up to convert a penalty from just inside the Italians' half.
The game remained tight throughout an evenly contested third quarter, during which Keatley booted two penalties - the first just after the restart and the second with 58 minutes on the clock.
Halangahu responded right on the hour mark to put five points between the sides, but replacement Botha heralded his arrival with the final try of the night after a good drive from the Munster pack.
Munster full-back Denis Hurley takes on Zebre's Andries van Schalkwyk during the sides' RaboDirect PRO12 encounter in Parma on Friday