New coach Tony McGahan likened Munster's 19-17 Heineken Cup Pool 1 victory over Montauban to "the great escape" as the defending champions endured a jittery night against the tournament newcomers.
The Irish province's redeveloped Thomond Park Stadium was rocked to its foundations when scrum-half Petre Mitu kicked Montauban into a late 17-16 lead.
The plucky French side, who were missing a host of first choice players, were on the cusp of becoming only the second team to win a European game at the famed Limerick ground - Leicester Tigers had the historic first in January 2007.
But up stepped Ronan O'Gara to spare Munster's blushes, as he held his nerve over a 78th-minute penalty to dash Montauban's hopes of a shock away win.
"The scoreline certainly suggests we were lucky to get away with a win. We were lucky to get a penalty in the 78th minute," McGahan said.
"We've spoken all week about Montauban coming here with absolutely nothing to lose, that they would be looking to slow down the game.
"They just kept hanging in and feeding off our mistakes and in the end it was a great escape.
"We did a lot of work on them. We certainly knew they'd come to play, we knew that they would be aggressive, kick a lot - all those things.
"We spoke about it today. There was no surprise in anything that occurred out there this evening from them."
England Under-20s head coach Martin Haag was full of praise for his World Rugby Under-20 Championship-winning side after Harry Mallinder inspired them to a 45-21 win over their Irish counterparts and a third title in four years.