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Munster coach Rob Penney defends kicking calls in Edinburgh victory

Updated: Monday, 14 Jan 2013 14:46 | Comments

Munster enjoyed a victory in the Scottish capital but failed to secure a bonus point
Munster enjoyed a victory in the Scottish capital but failed to secure a bonus point

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Munster coach Rob Penney has defended the decision of his players to kick for goal during the first half of their 26-17 Heineken Cup win over with Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

Penney’s side eventually came up short of the bonus-point win that would have improved their chances of reaching the knockout phase of the competition, but Penney was satisfied with the outcome.

"It was critical to get the win first. You could see when Edinburgh were able to unleash themselves in the latter part of the second half how dangerous they are, and if we hadn't got that buffer it was always going to be a problem," Penney said.

"It was critical to get the win first." - Penney

"It was always going to be tough coming here. It was always going to be a tough ask just to get the win.

"You've got to remember that this time last year Edinburgh were flying high in this competition and doing a great job. They are a quality side and they've got a lot of pride.

"So, I'm really rapt that we got ourselves into a good strong position and we were able to be a bit more expansive on the back of that. It was a wee bit disappointing that we weren't able to capitalise on some of the opportunities which we created."

In the event, Munster left the Scottish capital with four points after the referee awarded them a penalty try and Conor Murray touched down, while Ronan O'Gara contributed the rest of the points with the boot.

"So, we got the four points, we're in the fight next week and we'll see what happens on the back of that," added Penney.

In the home camp, Michael Bradley was left ruing his side's luck, pointing in particular to the decision of referee Greig Garner to yellow-card captain Greig Laidlaw for a deliberate knock-on.

"We might have got a couple of calls last year. Going into the final day last year we had a negative points difference and we were getting calls like that. They've certainly got us back this year," said Edinburgh head coach Bradley.

He nevertheless took heart from the way his men finished the match, bagging a late try double from Dougie Fife, with Laidlaw, who had slotted a penalty earlier, converting both.

Bradley added: "In the last 20 (minutes) when Greig came back on it looked as if the players grew in confidence. We got two good tries which is nice to see eventually in this tournament."

There will be full live coverage of Exeter v Leinster on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday 19 January from 2pm.

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