Planet Rugby

Munster edge past Leinster

05th October 2013 20:35

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Keith Earls

Lone try-scorer: Keith Earls

Munster picked up a good confidence booster ahead of their Heineken Cup campaign after they edged out rivals Leinster 19-15 at Thomond Park.

Ian Keatley scored 14 points as Munster overcame their arch-rivals for their fourth victory of the season.

Although the Limerick outfit controlled most of the opening period, they only went into the interval 10-9 ahead through Keith Earls' converted try and Keatley's penalty, while three-pointers from Ian Madigan and Fergus McFadden was the visitors' response.

Despite Madigan adding two more penalties in the second half, Keatley was successful three times from the tee to seal the win.

Both of these sides have started the season in reasonable fashion. After last year's failure to reach the Pro12 play-offs, the hosts needed a good start to the season and three wins out of the first four games signalled a solid return.

But in a tight first half, they found themselves 3-0 down early on as Madigan kicked a penalty. Munster showed plenty of endeavour and creativity in the following 20 minutes but last-ditch Leinster defence prevented them from finding that elusive score.

In fact, it was the visitors that were next to get on the board through their fly-half before Keatley reduced the arrears on the half-hour.

The pressure from the home side then resulted in Madigan being shown the yellow card and it was to prove costly as Earls soon crossed for the first try of the game.

However, Matt O'Connor's men managed to keep hold of the ball and build some phases which saw the Limerick-based outfit infringe. McFadden, taking over the kicking duties with their pivot off the field, converted the resultant opportunity to keep the game in the balance at the break.

But Munster continued in the same fashion after the interval as Keatley's penalty increased the advantage to 13-9.

Although successive Madigan three-pointers took Leinster ahead, the hosts refused to relent and the former Connacht fly-half duly regained their advantage.

And bragging rights over their Irish rivals was secured by man of the match Keatley who added his fifth from the tee.

The scorers:

For Munster:
Try: Earls
Con: Keatley
Pen: Keatley 4

For Leinster:
Pen: Madigan 4, McFadden

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Peter O'Mahony (c), 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Dave Kilycoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 James Cronin, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Conor Murray, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Denis Hurley.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Lote Tuqiri, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Luke Fitzgerald.

Referee: Romain Poite (FFR)

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