Dublin: 9°C Saturday 29 January 2022

Heineken Cup: Munster player ratings v Edinburgh

While Conor Murray was named as the sponsor’s man of the match, Paul O’Connell put in a 60-minute masterclass.

Peter O'Mahony of Munster is tackled by Ross Ford of Edinburgh.
Peter O'Mahony of Munster is tackled by Ross Ford of Edinburgh.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Dave Kilcoyne – 7 The scrum was hardly at its best in the first half and Kilcoyne had a couple of bruising encounters with Geoff Cross. He was outstanding in the loose and carried fir important gains in both halves.

Mike Sherry – 6 A fine outing from the hooker with just the one lineout mistake when a throw was not straight. Supported his front row colleague Kilcoyne well as the forwards went straight up the middle to commit Scottish defenders.

BJ Botha – 6 The Munster scrum is not up to scratch yet but Botha neutralised John Yapp for the most part. On the periphery as the back row took centre stage.

Donncha O’Callaghan – 7 A great return from O’Callaghan as he secured steady lineout ball and won his side a crucial penalty in the first half and an attacking scrum in the second. Appeared on the wing in attack twice but the bizarre gamble did not pay off.

Paul O’Connell – 9* His second game back after a long absence, but you’d never guess it. Munster charged out of the traps early on and he was predicatably at the heart of that. An immovable rock at the breakdown.

Donnacha Ryan – 7 Had to control his tongue in the first half after he let his emotions get the better of him. Was dogged in the back-row and instrumental in the heaving counter-attack that won a fine-metre scrum for the home side.

Sean Dougall – 7 Was outshone for the majority of the game by his back row colleagues but grappled well at the breakdown and scored the third try that stirred Munster hopes.

Peter O’Mahony – 8 Another blockbuster game from a man who will surely be in the Irish back row against South Africa. Made two rousing charges in the first half and constantly gained yards for his side. Scored try number two.

Conor Murray – 8 Didn’t shirk responsibility despite criticism received after last week. Took some pressure off his fly-half with timely box-kicks and also made the all-important breakthrough to give his side seven points after the break.

Conor Murray was named as the official man-of-the-match. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

Ian Keatley – 6 Lacked invention early on and early missed kick from right side was a bad blot on his copybook. The hosts dominated first half, and should have had more to show for it.

Simon Zebo – 7 As has been his trademark this season, excellent in the air and got the crowd to their feet in the early stage.

James Downey – 6 Excellent in defence, where he threw his body in regardless of personal safety. A knock-on in the second-half squandered momentum and highlighted the absence of Keith Earls in the Munster midfield.

Casey Laulala – 6 Showed great handling to keep a couple of backline moves boiling in the first half. Came close to a try as the reds pushed for the bonus point and was strong in defence.

Doug Howlett – 7 Recovered from some hefty tackles by Lee Jones and Nick de Luca and was a real attacking threat all day. His competence under the high ball was just the tonic for a crowd eager to get behind their side.

Denis Hurley – 7 Limited opportunities to get involved in first half but was very good in the second. Chased up and unders with gusto and was always willing to back himself in attack as Munster went for the jugular.


Billy Holland – 6 Had 20 minutes to make an impact following O’Connell’s masterclass and did not let the side down as they pressed late on.

Damien Varley – 7 A good comeback after his disappointing showing against Racing Metro. Scored the bonus point try.

Felix Jones – 6 Had the crowd on their feet n two occasions and played vital roles in the build-up to the third and fourth tries.

JJ Hanrahan – 6 Had less than 10 minutes to make a name for himself but showed speed and tenacity in the lead-up to Dougall’s try.

Paddy Butler – 6 Another player who played an important cameo before Dougall’s try.

Marcus Horan – Not on long enough to be rated.

*Ratings compiled by Sean Farrell and Patrick McCarry

As it happened: Munster v Edinburgh, Heineken Cup

About the author:

Sean Farrell

Read next: