Hot on the heels of Leinster Lions' four try victory over Biarritz at Lansdowne Road, Jim Williams' men revealed more of their legendary resolve to hang tough on French soil and grind out another famous victory.
After two successive defeats on the road in France, Munster were keen to get back to winning ways but they found themselves running headlong into a thoroughly commited Bourgoin side.
The last time the two teams met Bourgoin had ran out convincing winners 21-6 on home soil five years earlier - the last time Munster failed to qualify for the knock-out phase of the Heineken Cup.
In bitterly cold conditions, and with a passionate crowd urging them on, Bourgoin got the perfect start when impressive full back Alexandre Peclier opened the scoring with a third minute penalty.
Ronan O'Gara was quick to respond two minutes later with his first penalty and game remained deadlocked for the next 30 minutes as the two packs locked horns to raise the temperature at Stade Pierre Rajon.
While Bourgoin mounted some significant pressure, the spoiling tactics of Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan at the line-out proved crucial in keeping the home side at bay. Skipper Jim Williams and fellow back row men Anthony Foley and David Wallace were also key figures in another big European defensive operation.
At the other end of the field, O'Gara did his best to kick-start Munster's attacking options and he was not alone in feeling he should have had a penalty try five minutes from time. After putting in an inch perfect grub kick over the home line, the Irish outside half was taken out as he gave chase. With the Munstermen looking to the Welsh international referee Nigel Whitehouse for the penalty try, the traffic cop merely awarded a penalty.
O'Gara promptly gave his side the lead for the first time, but the teams were all level less than two minutes later. It was Munster's inability to secure the re-start on their 22 that started the trouble.
From the scrum, Peclier took the pass from Christophe Laussucq and over went the drop goal. Two minutes later, Bourgoin were ahead again when outside half Benjamin Boyet followed Peclier's example and dropped a text book goal.
With a minute to go to the break it looked as though Munster's efforts were going to leave them behind at half-time. O'Gara had other ideas, though, and his third penalty made it all level at the interval.
O'Gara's ever reliable boot sneaked Munster ahead once again eight minutes after the re-start after Marcus Horan had put pressure on the home defence just outside their 22 and earned a simple penalty.
That looked as though it might have been the score to settle Munster's nerves and give them the springboard for more points, but the Bourgoin pack galvanised themselves and
French World Cup back row man Sebastien Chabal powered his way over for the onloy try of the game from close range. Somehow Peclier managed to miss a virtaully point blank conversion, and it was just as well.
The full back didn't miss midway through the second half with a penlaty in front of the posts and that score stretched the home lead to five points.
But it was O'Gara who kept his cool to once again prove himself to be a matchwinner with two more penalties. Munster got a priceless away win, while Bourgoin had to content themselves with a solitary bonus point.
Bourgoin: A Peclier; G Esterhuizen (A Forest 41), G Davis, F Fritz, J-F Coux; B Boyet, C Lassauq; W Bonet, J-P Bonrepaux (B Cabello 48), P Peyron, J Pierre, P Pape, A Bias, S Chabal, P Raschi (captain).
Munster: J Staunton (M Lawlor 70); J Kelly, M Mullins, J Holland (R Henderson 66), S Payne; R O'Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, F Sheahan, J Hayes, P O'Connell, D O'Callaghan, J Williams (capt), D Wallace, A Foley.