After winning an avalanche of trophies under Scott Robertson, the new All Blacks coach, the Crusaders will be tested as they adapt to Penney’s ways.
But traditional Crusaders never-say-die strengths were on display as they kept in touch with a Munster side that had the better of possession in front of a crowd of 41,000.
The home side prevailed 21-19, but only after a late conversion attempt from Rivez Reihana faded past the posts.
The Crusaders were led by lock Quinten Strange, in All Black Scott Barrett’s absence, and he was yellow-carded in the first half.
The Crusaders play the Pat Lam-coached Bristol Bears this weekend.