CELTIC LEAGUE: Saturday, April 16Munster 30 Edinburgh 20, Thomond ParkScorers: Munster: Tries: John Hayes, Alan Quinlan, Anthony Horgan, Denis Leamy 2; Con: Jason Holland; Pen: Paul BurkeEdinburgh: Tries: Phil Godman, Alasdair Dickinson; Cons: Chris Paterson 2; Pens: Paterson 2
In coach Alan Gaffney's final league encounter before his departure back to Australia, the second-placed province picked up a ninth home success, mainly thanks to fit-again flanker Denis Leamy's' two-try salvo.
Leamy showed no ill effects of the hamstring injury which disrupted his debut Six Nations. As a late replacement for an ill David Wallace, he stole the show after Munster had weathered an early battering from the geed-up Gunners - who were aiming for a last-gasp lunge at a home Celtic Cup quarter-final draw.
Scotland full-back Chris Paterson found his range early with two penalties, but only after Edinburgh fly-half Phil Godman had found his way the cover to net the opening try after barely 2 minutes.
The Scots - who tied up the signing of captain Todd Blackadder earlier in the week, for another year - were motoring at 13-0 inside 9 minutes. Then, Munster - as is their wont at fortress Thomond - clicked into gear.
A whole different complexion was put on the tie as first, prop John Hayes celebrated his British and Irish Lions call-up in style with a maul over try on 25 minutes.
Home fly-half Jason Holland, in his 100th appearance for the men in red, converted and his half-back partner Peter Stringer did the damage in the closing stages of the first half as he had a hand in touch downs for Alan Quinlan and Anthony Horgan.
Turning 17-13 in front, Munster pushed further in front as Leamy crossed for an uncoverted scored.
Munster lapsed again though as lively Edinburgh substitute Alasdair Dickinson forced his way over after a concerted spell of pressure from the visitors.
Paterson's conversion from the touchline meant there was still all to play for.
Leamy then showed his hunger for a place in Ireland's tour squad for their June trip to Japan as he blocked down a clearance kick to pick up and score late on. And although substitute Paul Burke robbed Edinburgh of a bonus point in injury-time - ironically Gaffney's charges are now teed up to meet the Gunners in the Celtic Cup's last eight as Frank Hadden's side have claimed a league finish of seventh.
Afterwards Gaffney admitted his side will have to start putting full 80-minute performances together if they are stand a chance of Cup success.
"We've been making life hard for ourselves by starting poorly of late. You cannot afford to do that against a side like Edinburgh," he said.
"They're a good side. Even in the second half when we got on top of them, they stuck to their game-plan and kept coming at us."
(15) Shaun Payne
Replacements used: John Kelly for Horgan (45 mins), Donncha O'Callaghan for Hogan (62), Paul Burke for Henderson (68), Stephen Keogh for Leamy (73), Eugene McGovern for McIlwham (79). Not used: Jerry Flannery, Mike Prendergast.
Edinburgh: Hugo Southwell; Chris Paterson, Marcus Di Rollo, Brendan Laney, Simon Webster; Phil Godman, Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen, Andrew Kelly, Craig Smith, Nathan Hines, Scott Murray, Todd Blackadder (Capt), Allister Hogg, David Callam.
Replacements used: Craig Joiner for Laney (31 mins), Dougie Hall for Kelly (half-time), Alasdair Dickinson for Jacobsen (51), Simon Cross for Callum (62), Alastair Kellock for Hines (79). Not used: Rory Lawson, Michael Pyke.
HT: Munster 17 Edinburgh 13; Attendance: 5,000Referee: Nigel Williams (Wales)