A 48 metre penalty from Jeremy Manning in the 66th minute gave Munster a 19-17 win over Sale Sharks in front of a 6,100 crowd at Musgrave Park.
An Ian Nagle try converted by Jeremy Manning who also added three penalties gave Munster a 16-7 half time lead.
Sale opened the second half with a try from full back Scott MacLeod converted by Charlie Hodgson and when Hodgson landed a simple 63rd minute drop goal they looked set for victory.
However Munster refused to buckle and when Sale conceded the penalty just inside their half they could have been forgiven for thinking it wouldn’t affect the outcome. But Manning landed his fifth successful kick to put his side in front and then they defended superbly to deny the English visitors.
Among the large attendance was Sprinboks centre Jean de Villers who watched the game sitting amongst his soon to be colleagues, Denis Fogarty, Tomas O’leary, Denis Hurley, Doug Howlett, Lifeimi Mafi and Ronan O’Gara.
de Villers is over for a two day visit before flying back to rejoin the Springbok Tri Nations squad.