19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
And in the course of the victory they produced some sparkling rugby and outstanding defence, particularly at the end when the home side came looking for the match-winning score.
Munster shaded the opening exchanges without really troubling the Edinburgh defence before the Scots finally sparked into life when their danger man Tim Visser burst from deep, although his efforts came to nothing.
That swung the momentum Edinburgh's way and the scoring breakthrough came in the 13th minute. Nick De Luca made a break following a scrum in midfield and drew two defenders before offloading to Greig Tonks, whose perfectly-timed pass freed Visser for an untroubled run to the line.
Rob Penney's men, with new centres Casey Laulala and James Downey starting together, had a chance to trim the deficit when Keatley lined up a penalty from close to the halfway line. However, while he had the length, his direction was awry.
Nonetheless, referee Leighton Hodges detected an Edinburgh hand in a ruck five minutes later and Keatley bisected the posts this time to open his side's account.
It took a thumping tackle by Ross Ford on Denis Hurley, who caught the eye at full-back, to keep the Edinburgh try-line intact.
In the aftermath, the ball was turned over under the Edinburgh posts and number 8 Stuart McInally pounced to launch a thrilling breakaway. He evaded three Munster tacklers before passing to Visser who sprinted over for his second try.
The visitors rallied and squared matters just before the break, having struggled to convert pressure into points for much of the opening half.
Their captain Doug Howlett cleverly chipped ahead and when the bounce wrong-footed Laidlaw, Keatley was on hand to dot down before adding the conversion for a 10-10 half-time scoreline.
The seven-pointer gave Munster a real boost and they resumed brightly with Paddy Butler and Damien Varley both making the hard yards before Edinburgh were penalised for Keatley to kick his side in front after three minutes.
Shortly afterwards, Edinburgh went for the corner from a kickable penalty but got little change from the Munster defence. When offered another penalty, they gave it to Greig Laidlaw who levelled.
The game had a real ebb and flow about it and both sides were willing to throw the ball around, Edinburgh continuing to threaten from deep and Munster adopting an effective attacking style that saw runners taking good lines off big men like Downey, Hurley and the back rowers.
Such a tactic was employed for the province's all-important second try. Munster used lineout ball to send Downey up the middle and he got a terrific offload away for the supporting Luke O'Dea to gather and escape the clutches of two defenders on the way to the whitewash.
O'Dea's angle of running was inch perfect as he still had a lot to do when fed by Downey, but the 22-year-old is turning into quite a finisher at this level and now has five tries in 10 league outings. Keatley converted for a 20-10 advantage.
Munster maintained the pressure and probably deserved more off a 69th minute five-metre scrum than the penalty that Keatley kicked after O'Dea was hauled down close to the posts and Edinburgh infringed.
BJ Botha did well to provide a good angle of attack from the scrum and home flanker Ross Rennie can count himself fortunate that he avoided a yellow card having very obviously killed the ball at the ensuing ruck.
Players like Donncha O'Callaghan, who carried a good deal at close quarters, Butler and James Coughlan revelled in the clever game-plan and style of play adopted by Penney and his fellow coaches Anthony Foley and Simon Mannix.
Duncan Williams, Howlett and Hurley were the pick of the backs in terms of attitude and workload, although the job was far from done at that point.
Worryingly, a third try was leaked by the men in red. Once again, the 'flying Dutchman' was in the right place at the right time to nip over in the left corner with 74 minutes gone.
That completed Visser's hat-trick and set up a granstand finish in the process. Referee Hodges waved away any suggestions of a forward pass.
Now 23-18 down, Michael Bradley's charges needed Laidlaw to tag on the difficult touchline conversion but his kick faded away to the left of the posts and the Scots were left needing a decisive try.
It was all hands to the pump as Munster showed true grit in the dying minutes to resist and emerge as worthy winners at the end of an entertaining tussle.
More of the same at home to Benetton Treviso next week would be just the tonic before the province's leading internationals come back into consideration.
|Edinburgh Rugby Score Card|
|Munster Rugby Score Card|