In a five-try game at the Aviva Stadium in the Guinness Pro14 Leinster outscored their provincial counterparts Munster by 23 points to 17, despite the southern province winning the try count 3 to 2.
Leinster Rugby 23 Munster Rugby 17
Outside entre Rory O’Loughlin opened the scoring for the hosts when a John Ryan challenge wasn’t strong enough to prevent the Leinster man turning his body and reaching for the line to touch down under the posts. A Johnny Sexton conversion gave the home side a 7-0 lead.
Munster hooker Niall Scannell was sin binned after 20 minutes when his effort to intercept was adjudged to have been a deliberate knock on by the referee. Ironically Rassie Erasmus’ side scored 7 points when down to 14 men.
When outhalf Ian Keatley intercepted a Johnny Sexton pass which touched off Robbie Henshaw’s hand, the Munster number 10 showed pace to accelerate away and touch down under the posts. He added the 2 points from the conversion to level the scores with 27 minutes played in the opening half.
Rory O’Loughlin touched down for his second five-pointer of the game when a lovely Leinster move involving Sexton, Furlong and Carbery allowed the centre to score. With Sexton adding the extras the home side were leading by double scores approaching half time.
The Leinster captain added a further three points when his side were awarded a penalty for a tackle by Munster’s outside centre Chris Farrell on Joey Carbery. This score made Sexton Leinster’s all time points scorer.
Great pace and an excellent break by outside flanker Tommy O’Donnell lead to Keith Earls try to reduce the gap. O’Donnell would later be substituted, for the first time this season, despite an impressive 7 carries for 64 metres.
Sexton again extended his side’s lead 20-12 with another penalty awarded when the Leinster front row drove Munster back. Yet another penalty when Munster were blown for holding on meant the Leinster flyhalf pushed his side 23-12 ahead when his kick dissected the posts.
A second late try for the “Myross Magician” Keith Earls saw his side gain a losing bonus point as the Limerick winger touched down in the corner. JJ Hanrahan, then on kicking duty following the replacement of both Keatley and Blyenedaal, missed the quickly-taken conversion attempt, leaving the final score 23-17 to Leinster.