Edinburgh were denied consecutive victories in Munster as CJ Stander’s late try inflicted a second defeat of the season on Richard Cockerill’s side at Thomond Park last night.

First-half tries from Mark Bennett and WP Nel put Edinburgh on the road to victory, but Ben Healy’s boot and Stander’s late score wrapped up a last-gasp win for the home side.

“In terms of it being an improved performance, that’s scant consolation,” said Cockerill. “It’s a game we should have won and I’m disappointed we didn’t.

“We were five points up with just a couple of minutes to go and we couldn’t clear our lines. Then we gave a penalty away for not rolling away from the tackle.

‘Then, suddenly, we were just five metres from our own line and we gave them opportunities to win the game.

“I expect better from this team. We made too many errors and gave away too many penalties. It’s bitterly disappointing because we should have won the game.

“Our exits were poor. We were missing touch at times and just kicking the ball down the middle of the pitch through human error.

“Our discipline was poor. It’s a reoccurring thing. We have opportunities to win and we find a way to lose. We’ve got to get out of it – because, to be honest, I’m sick to death of it.”

A shock home loss to Ospreys in the first round of the new season was not the start Cockerill needed and he came to Thomond Park with seven new faces in the side.

Munster’s opening night would have been a similar return but for the heroics of youngster Ben Healy on their trip to Scarlets. And the 21-year-old out half did not take long to find his groove this week either. An early line-out drive from Jamie Ritchie was penalised in the second minute and Healy made no mistake from the left to put Munster 3-0 clear.

Three minutes later Healy added a second penalty after some great work from Jeremy Loughman at the breakdown, but after that sleepy start Edinburgh slowly began to find their feet.

Their maul was a real weapon throughout and only Grant Gilchrist’s handling stalled a good move off the back of one after nine minutes, but that was only a hint of things to come from the Scottish side. When Stander was penalised at the breakdown after 11 minutes, Jaco van der Walt pinned Munster into their own 22.

The driving line-out made slow, steady progress and Stuart McInally was halted just short, but when the ball was recycled, van der Walt spread it wide, and George Taylor sent Bennett over for the score. The conversion was good from van der Walt for a 7-6 lead for the visitors.

Edinburgh hearts skipped a beat after a quarter-of-an-hour when the retreating Damien Hoyland slipped as he waited for the ball to trickle over the try-line. At first glance it appeared that Munster’s Jack O’Donoghue had beaten him to the touch and referee Nigel Owens awarded the try, but after consulting with his TMO Joy Neville, the full-back was shown to have beaten the flanker by a millisecond

Munster did reclaim the lead shortly afterwards when Healy kicked his third penalty – Edinburgh prop Rory Sutherland was caught making a tackle off the ball – but the Edinburgh front row was just about to make a significant impact at the other end.

A handful of strong carries and impressive tempo in attack saw Duhan van der Merwe get his hands on the ball in space for the first time and he made great yardage into the Munster 22. McInally almost crossed the try-line as the Munster defence continued to back pedal, but tighthead Nel was on hand to power over from close range. That wonderful team try was converted again by van der Walt.

The loss of second row Gilchrist was a blow for Edinburgh as half time approached, but with their defence rock solid and Munster’s set-piece mis-firing they kept their hosts at bay. But just on the blow of the break, Tadhg Beirne won another breakdown penalty for Munster and Healy’s fourth successful kick cut Edinburgh’s half-time lead to 14-12.

Buoyed by their positive first half, Edinburgh started the second period on the front

foot. Their third try very nearly came off a van der Walt kick to the left, but Taylor

was somehow halted by a super Andrew Conway cover tackle.

They did extend their advantage to 17-12 in the 49th minute though, when another Hamish Watson carry drew Munster offside in defence and van der Walt kicked the three points from the left.

There was no shaking off Munster though and a high tackle on the busy Craig Casey allowed Healy to maintain his perfect record off the tee, which narrowed the gap to two points.

Another high tackle from van der Walt saw him earn a yellow card in the 57th minute and Healy drilled over the penalty to reclaim the lead for Munster.

Chasing a second straight win in Munster, Edinburgh were not done yet and a lightning break from Darcy Graham drew the penalty concession, and with van der Walt still in the bin Bennett kicked the penalty from in front of the posts.

Munster went straight down the other end and James Cronin won a splendid penalty at the breakdown but Healy missed his first kick of the day.

The next chance fell to Edinburgh, and van der Walt moved his side into a 23-18 lead, but Stander burrowed over from a few inches to level matters three minutes from time and Healy converted for the win.