Sexton steers Leinster past Munster

05th Nov 2011, 20:15

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21 points: Jonathan Sexton

21 points: Jonathan Sexton

Leinster moved top, if only temporarily, of the RaboDirect PRO12 on Friday after overcoming Irish rivals Munster 24-19 at Aviva Stadium.


Leinster moved top of the RaboDirect PRO12 on Friday after they overcame rivals Munster 24-19 at Aviva Stadium.

All of their points came from the boot - Johnny Sexton supplying seven penalties and Rob Kearney a drop-goal, with the only try of the night coming a few minutes before the final whistle when Munster were awarded a penalty try.

Ronan O'Gara converted to add to four earlier penalties. A frantic finale ensued but Munster were unable to breach the home side's water-tight defence and force the winning score.

Munster suffered an early setback when Ireland international Keith Earls had to be replaced due to an injury after just two minutes. But O'Gara got the first points of the evening with a fifth minute penalty and the rest of the half saw the Munster man and fellow World Cup returnee, Sexton, trade further kicks which resulted in Leinster holding a 15-9 advantage at the break.

The scoring sequence continued in the same manner at the start of the second period with a further penalty apiece recorded until Kearney added some variation with his drop-goal.

Munster were immediately punished for Denis Leamy's yellow card on 60 minutes when Sexton knocked over the resulting penalty to make it 24-12.

Helped by the sin-binning of Leinster number eight Jamie Heaslip, the visitors showed great determination to muscle their way back into the contest. But they ultimately fell just short of preventing Leinster making it ten wins on the trot at the iconic Dublin venue.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Pen: Sexton 7
Drop: Kearney

For Munster:
Try: Penalty
Con: O'Gara
Pen: O'Gara 4

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Isa Nacewa, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Kevin McLaughlin, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Eoin O'Malley

Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Will Chambers, 12 Lifeimi Mafi, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Denis Leamy, 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Donnnacha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell (capt), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 John Hayes, 19 Peter O'Mahony, 20 James Coughlan, 21 Tomas O'Leary, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Danny Barnes.

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Television match official: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)