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Munster's Poor Run in the Celtic League Continues
4 April 2004, 2:57 am
Edinburgh made up for their Heineken Cup quarter-final exit to record their first Celtic League victory since February, winning 28-17 at Musgrave Park and completing a double over Munster.
FT: Munster 17 Edinburgh Rugby 28

Edinburgh made up for their Heineken Cup quarter-final exit to record their first Celtic League victory since February, winning 28-17 at Musgrave Park and completing a double over Munster.

The Gunners' stretch of four straight losses in the competition ended as first-half tries from number eight Allister Hogg and centre Hugo Southwell, added to a brace from skipper Todd Blackadder and substitute Alasdair Strokosch in the second half, saw them garner their eighth win of the campaign.

Munster got the ideal start and akin to his lightning try against Stade Francais last Saturday, South African speedster Shaun Payne got in on the end of a Rob Henderson chip forward for the lead score after eight minutes.

It went unconverted and that advantage was a short one as Scottish number eight Hogg was mauled over on 13 minutes, with the rain pouring down.

Outside-half Alistair Warnock missed left with the conversion attempt but the 21-year-old put the visitors in front four minutes later through a 28-metre penalty.

Edinburgh stretched ahead two minutes later when a sweeping backline move saw both Munster's Christian Cullen and left wing Anthony Horgan cut out, and Southwell sprint over in the right corner for his third try in four league games.

Warnock clipped the conversion attempt wide of Munster's left upright, but the Scots enjoyed a 13-5 lead at the break.

Edinburgh lost a slice of their advantage through a Jason Holland penalty on 43 minutes. Six minutes later, a silly infringement by Munster second row David Pusey saw the home side cough up a close-range penalty, and Blackadder crashed through from the resulting maul.

Matters were worsened for Munster with Warnock's first successful convert for a 20-8 lead.

Holland hit back immediately with his second penalty from 25 metres, and a third effort from the right side on 58 minutes to reduce arrears to six.

There were three points between the sides with a fourth Holland penalty on 61 minutes. The shoot-out continued with Warnock chipping over his second penalty with 13 minutes remaining.

But with the cutting edge of Cullen still just a fraction out, flanker Strokosch struck in the dying minutes off a five-metre scrum for the clinching score.

Munster: 17 Tries: Payne Pens: Holland 4

Edinburgh: 28 Tries: Southwell, Blackadder, A Hogg, Strokosch Cons: Warnock Pens: Warnock 2

Munster: Cullen, Payne, Kelly, Henderson, Horgan, Holland, Reddan, Roche, Flannery, McIlwham, Hogan, Pusey, S. Keogh, McMahon, P. Malone.

Replacements: Callaghan, Cahill, T. Hayes, Melbourne, F. Murphy, O'Sullivan, McPhail.

Edinburgh: Lee, Webster, Di Rollo, Philip, Southwell, Warnock, Blair, Jacobson, Kelly, Brannigan, Kellock, Murray, Blackadder, Cross, A. Hogg.

Replacements: Di Ciacca, Smith, Perrett, Strokosch, Burns, Dickson, Joiner.

Referee: N Whitehouse (WRFU).

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