Munster – 44
Edinburgh – 14
Munster secured a one-sided bonus-point victory as a superb first half showing put Edinburgh to the sword and secured the outcome of this game long before Nigel Owen blew the full-time whistle.
Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Tadhg Beirne and Peter O’Mahony were all excellent but it was man-of-the-match Chris Farrell who stole the show with his superb carrying which set up a number of tries for his teammates in addition to getting over for two tries himself.
Munster got off to a flying start after just five minutes when Farrell, on his first start of the season, crashed over from close range after a series of lineouts and a powerful Arno Botha carry put Munster deep into the Edinburgh 22.
The southern province’s second try came 10 minutes later when JJ Hanrahan popped an inside pass to an on-rushing Andrew Conway and the flying winger continued his rich vein of form which saw him score three tries against the USA at the Aviva Stadium to accelerate away from the chasing Edinburgh defenders to dot down under the posts.
Just minutes later, it was Conway again as he received the ball on the wing to touch down in the corner. It was a sweeping backline move and the killer pass came from Farrell who sucked in three defenders before popping the pass out the backline which generated the overlap for Conway.
Munster fell asleep from the restart when Duhan van der Merwe stepped inside Mike Haley and offloaded Chris Cloete to get Edinburgh their first try and a foothold in the game.
Although the next few minutes were sloppy from a Munster perspective, Johann van Graan’s side secured the bonus-point after just 29 minutes.
A lineout maul deep inside the Edinburgh 22 saw Conor Murray take the ball from Botha at the back and fire it to Keith Earls who got down in the corner on the blindside.
It was Earls again just moments later when a powerful carry from Farrell set Mike Haley away and he produced a superb pass to Earls who raced clear.
Earls completed his hattrick four minutes later when Conway popped a pass to Haley who made huge ground into Edinburgh half. On the next phase and with a massive overlap, the ball was sent to Limerick speedster who made no mistake as gave Munster a 34-7 lead at halftime.
Munster’s lead could have been greater at the interval but Hanrahan struggled from the tee as he was only able to convert two out of six first-half tries.
The home side had to wait 24 minutes for their first try of the second half as a 5 m scrum resulted in Duncan Williams giving the ball to Tyler Bleyendaal on the blindside as the New Zealander attacked the gap to dive over for his side’s seventh try of the match.
Van der Merwe got one back for Edinburgh but it was the southern province who had the last laugh when Farrell got over for his second try of the match thanks to a superb line as he received a pass from Bleyendaal to send him clear to the line.
Overall, van Graan’s side got the job done by halftime and they will know tougher tests lie ahead when they take on Castres in back-to-back Champions Cup fixtures over the next two weeks.