Leinster get the better of resilient Munster at the Aviva

Leinster get the better of resilient Munster at the Aviva

After 45 minutes the Munster miracle looked on.

When Gavin Coombes sent his cousin Liam over in the corner for the opening Munster try and Joey Carbery’s conversion pushed them 13-7 ahead, the 44,000-plus crowd at the Aviva Stadium got a game they probably didn’t bargain for. .

When the squads were announced at 12pm on Friday, the sight of Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong, Caelan Doris, Garry Ringrose and co looked a level above the Munsters, largely due to a long injury list which claimed Tadhg Beirne and Peter O’Mahony in the last the week.

And even with Furlong forced to retire before kick-off due to an ankle sprain, it looked more likely than not that Leinster would extend their BKT United Rugby Championship winning run.

In the end, the international experience Leo Cullen’s side could draw on counted as they secured a 27-13 bonus-point win, but while they produced four well-worked tries, particularly their last effort from Rob Russell, they looked good. their best.

Dan Sheehan scores Leinster’s second try

They hit back from that 13-7 deficit almost immediately with a Dan Sheehan try and moved 22-13 ahead after a Luke McGrath score just after the hour and it was enough to see them through for a sixth win from six .

For Munster, it is a fourth defeat in seven games, but they will take many positives.

By the time Coombes ran in the first try, they had taken everything Leinster had to throw at them, enduring two yellow cards – for Keynan Knox and Jean Kleyn – in the process.

They survived many close games in the opening half, with Leinster’s inaccuracy costing them through the first 40, often down to rough, scrappy Munster defence.

Although the game seemed to be getting away from them, Munster were relentless, the injuries piling up as the second half progressed.

Jeremy Loughman switched back and forth between tight and loosehead, Diarmuid Barron played the full 80 minutes at hooker, substitute hooker Scott Buckley filled in at the back row for the final 15 minutes, while Ruadhan Quinn played a quarter, five days after from 9 p.m. his 19th birthday.

When the teams met here in May, it took just a minute for Leinster to cross for the first try and they almost repeated the trick tonight, but Jason Jenkins was held up over the line after Luke McGrath took the penalty. Munster on guard.

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However, another penalty from an identical position, just to the left of the posts, should have provided the first score after five minutes, Sexton seeing his routine shot drift left and wide.

The home side were in control but struggled to make it count; Ringrose’s break towards the 22 ended with a Cian Healy knock-on, two lineouts in good territory were spoiled by lopsided throws, while Sexton also spilled a simple pass to give Munster’s defense a chance to breathe.

However, Munster struggled to leave their own half, their only real sniff at the Leinster 22 coming just after the 10-minute mark and it ended within a few phases thanks to a great counter-attacking rush from James Ryan.

On the quarter the Munster defense again had to move, Jamie Osborne finding space down the left wing after Ringrose’s decoy run opened up space, but his pass back to McGrath was disturbed by Shane Daly.

With attacking opportunities so rare in the opening quarter for Munster, any chance of a point had to be stumbled upon, but they saw a Carbery penalty slide wide of the posts after 19 minutes. Fortunately, the Munster player got another chance moments later and this time he converted to put the visitors 3-0 up.

The game boiled over on 26 minutes when Munster’s Keynan Knox was booked for a reckless tackle on James Ryan. The Leinster lock may have counted himself lucky not to also go to the bin for his retaliation, although on another day Knox might well have seen red.

Dave Kilcoyne was called on from the bench when Leinster opted for a scrum from the resulting penalty and while the set-piece was messy, it was enough for them to secure possession, pick and drive for the line, with Penny getting the decisive touchdown for the game’s opening try.

Sexton’s conversion made it 7-3, but despite the man advantage, they couldn’t make it count anymore.

Five minutes later Carbery was able to chip back to 7-6 with his second penalty of the afternoon, field position secured after a brilliant penalty won by their makeshift scrum.

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Knox was only back on the field a matter of seconds before Munster were down to 14 players again.

This time it was Kleyn who was booked for a heavy collision with Osborne, the Munster lock having accidentally clattered into the wing as he jumped to block the Leinster man’s chip over the top.

Sexton turned down a shot on goal from the resulting penalty and kicked for a corner, looking to get a big hit right on the stroke of half-time, but they were once again frustrated by a scrappy Munster defence, who went into the break 7-6 behind after having held up the Leinster maul over the line.

If the hosts felt nervous in the scrappy first half, they felt even hotter under the collar five minutes into the second when Munster struck to score their first try.

Caelan Doris was slow to dive on a loose ball, beaten to it by Jack O’Donoghue, who fly-hacked it along the ground. And after Munster turned the ball over inside the Leinster 22, it eventually found its way to Gavin Coombes, who saw his cousin Liam all alone on the left wing and the No.8 pass was on the money as the Garryowen clubman dived over to score. .

We had a game on our hands as the rain began to pour in Dublin 4, Carbery converting from the left to send Munster 13-12 ahead as they welcomed Kleyn back from the sin-bin.

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But Leinster’s response was immediate. They won a penalty in good territory after a foul on Murray, and headed for the corner, and this time their maul went.

As the maul went towards the line, McGrath’s clever decoy move to the right drew Murray towards him, creating enough space for Sheehan to dive over and score, with Sexton’s conversion putting his side ahead at 14-13.

Before the hour mark, Carbery limped off as Ireland head coach Andy Farrell looked on, and a penalty from Johnny Sexton put Leinster 17-13 ahead.

And in the 62nd minute, the hosts had their third try. McGrath snuck for the line on the back of a maul, the finish too easy as he found the soft shoulders of Ben Healy and Kilcoyne.

Sexton’s missed conversion left the gap at just nine points, 22-13, but Munster would not buckle, working their way down towards the Leinster line as they looked to get back within a score.

They spent more than six minutes hammering away to no avail, a dominating scrum penalty eventually easing the pressure on the hosts.

Leinster finally put the game to bed as the clock struck on 77 minutes, substitute Rob Russell finishing off an overlap in the corner after a wonderful piece of link-up play by Ringrose and Doris.

However, they failed to add the final conversion, Ross Byrne’s effort coming back off the post, leaving his side 14-point winners after a hugely physical 80 minutes.


Leinster: CiarΓ‘n Frawley; Jimmy O’Brien, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Jamie Osborne; Johnny Sexton (captain), Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Dan Sheehan, Michael Ala’alatoa; Jason Jenkins, James Ryan; Max Deegan, Scott Penny, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: John McKee, Andrew Porter, Thomas Clarkson, Ross Molony, Jack Conan, Nick McCarthy. Ross Byrne, Rob Russell.

Munster: Jack Crowley; Shane Daly, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Liam Coombes; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Keynan Knox; Jean Kleyn, Tom Ahern; Jack O’Donoghue (captain), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Scott Buckley, Dave Kilcoyne, James French, Jack O’Sullivan, Ruadhan Quinn, Paddy Patterson, Ben Healy, Patrick Campbell.

Judge: Andrew Brace (IRFU)

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