Planet Rugby

Leinster monster Munster

12th April 2008 20:18

Share:

Felipe Contepomi Leinster

Puma Power: Felipe Contepomi pocketed six goals

Leinster brought Munster back to earth with a bump by notching up a well-worked 21-12 victory at RDS on Saturday, a result that leaves the Dubliners within touching distance of the Magners League title.

Felipe Contepomi landed six penalty goals from eight attempts in this niggly inter-provincial clash, and Jonathan Sexton topped off the win with a late drop-goal as the league leaders put 12 points between them and the second-placed Cardiff Blues in the standings.

Worryingly for Munster, with their Heineken Cup semi-final trip to Saracens just a fortnight away, half-backs Ronan O'Gara and Peter Stringer both picked up injuries.

O'Gara did not return for the second half after injuring himself at a ruck, while Stringer had to stretchered off in a neck brace after his team-mate Anthony Foley accidentally caught him with an elbow.

Leinster made a business-like start with Contepomi popping two penalties through the posts inside six minutes.

Munster showed plenty of fire but it was the Leinster pack who exerted more control in the tight exchanges and their aggressive defence and work around the fringes knocked the visitors off their stride.

Leinster had an extra week's preparation for this game and Michael Cheika had them primed - they even had a Munster-like line-out maul which gained 20 metres for them.

Leinster ended the first quarter with a 9-0 lead as Contepomi landed his third penalty success after a John Hayes scrum infringement.

Two penalties in the space of six minutes, with O'Gara the scorer, got Munster back in contention. The second came after illegal use of the boot from Malcolm O'Kelly.

The best move of the first half followed when Leinster launched a rapier-like thrust towards the Munster line.

The side-stepping Sexton was involved twice and prop Stan Wright, who put in immense work, also got on the ball before Rob Kearney was superbly bundled into touch by Doug Howlett at the corner flag.

But Leinster did manage to stretch their lead in injury time when a soft penalty award allowed Contepomi make it 12-6 at the break.

O'Gara's replacement Paul Warwick notched a confidence-building penalty kick, four minutes after the resumption.

However, Contepomi kicked the second of two quick penalty attempts, after Donncha O'Callaghan had infringed at a ruck, to keep the home side ticking.

Stringer's injury halted play and took the sting out of the match for a while, yet Munster, boosted by Paul O'Connell's introduction, soon found an extra gear.

Two busts forward from Ian Dowling got Declan Kidney's men up to the Leinster 22 and a jinking run from Howlett also tested Leinster's mettle out wide.

A try never came and Warwick's second penalty hit proved to be Munster's final score.

Had Dowling spotted Howlett coming through on a great angle in the 66th minute, the All Black might have touched down but the wingers failed to link up and Leinster ruthlessly closed out the win.

Contepomi nailed his sixth penalty from eight attempts after Munster centre Rua Tipoki had been sin-binned for a neck-high challenge on Luke Fitzgerald.

Sexton added the icing with a smartly struck drop-goal and with the young out-half punching the air with delight, Leinster could be just a game or two away from their second league crown.

The scorers:

For Leinster:

Pens: Contepomi 6

Drop: Sexton

For Munster:

Pens: O'Gara 2, Warwick 2

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Girvan Dempsey, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Luke Fitzgerald, 12 Felipe Contepomi, 11 Rob Kearney, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Chris Whitaker, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Keith Gleeson, 6 Shane Jennings, 5 Malcolm O'Kelly, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Stan Wright, 2 Bernard Jackman, 1 Ollie le Roux.

Replacements: (from) Brian Blaney, Cian Healy, Stephen Knoop, Trevor Hogan, Stephen Keogh, Chris Keane, Eoin O'Malley, Michael Berne, Gary Brown.

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Lifeimi Mafi, 12 Rua Tipoki, 11 Ian Dowling, 10 Ronan O'Gara (c), 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Anthony Foley, 7 Denis Leamy, 6 Alan Quinlan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Jerry Flannery, 1 Tony Buckley.

Replacements: 16 Frank Sheahan, 17 Federico Pucciariello, 18 Paul O'Connell, 19 Niall Ronan, 20 Tomas O'Leary, 21 Paul Warwick, 22 Kieran Lewis.

Date: Saturday 12 April, 2008

Kick-off: 18:30 BST, 17:30 GMT

Venue: RDS, Dublin

Referee: Chris White (England)

Touch judges: Colin Stanley (Ireland), David Wilkinson (Ireland)

Television Match Official: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058