Munster recorded a come-from-behind 24-23 success over Magners League rivals Leinster in a kick-fest at Thomond Park on Saturday.
Munster recorded a come-from-behind 24-23 victory over Magners League rivals Leinster in a kick-fest at Thomond Park on Saturday.
In the battle of the Ireland internationals, Ronan O'Gara kicked 21 points while Jonathan Sexton booted six penalties. But it was ultimately O'Gara and the Limerick-based outfit who came out on top.
The result continues their march towards the top of the Magners League table and dents Leinster's chances of a home semi-final in the play-offs.
And it was Munster who came out determined to continue their fine recent form when O'Gara opened the scoring with a penalty.
However, Leinster responded immediately through a Sexton three points. But the hosts regained their lead from the boot of O'Gara.
The away side took control and they scored 11 points in seven minutes. Sexton kicked a penalty and added a second not long after before winger Shane Horgan went over for an unconverted try.
O'Gara reduced the arrears with his third penalty to bring them within losing bonus-point territory, but they were hit with a sucker punch when centre Johne Murphy was sin-binned.
Leinster took advantage as their stand-off kicked two more three pointers to give the Dublin-based province a comfortable 20-9 half-time lead.
After the break, Munster came out with intent and quickly went about decreasing that gap.
Paul Warwick stepped in when O'Gara was briefly off the field to score a penalty before the Irish fly-half booted two of his own.
All of a sudden Leinster were imploding and when Brian O'Driscoll was yellow carded, O'Gara converted his sixth penalty to give his side the lead.
Through the boot of Sexton, the away team regained their composure and the advantage but it was left to O'Gara to have the last say.
Pen: O'Gara 7, Warwick
Pen: Sexton 6
Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Johne Murphy, 12 Lifiemi Mafi, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 David Wallace, 6 Donncha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell (capt), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 John Hayes, 19 Mick O'Driscoll, 20 Denis Leamy, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Paul Warwick, 23 Sam Tuitupou.
Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Stan Wright, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fergus McFadden.
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson, Richard Kerr