Munster beat Leinster to win Grand Final

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Updated: May 29, 2011

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Munster 19 – Leinster 9
Full time played

Scorers:
79min O’Gara (conversion)
79min Penalty Try
70min O’Gara (missed penalty)
66min O’Gara (missed conversion)
65min Earls (try)
60min Sexton (penalty)
48min Sexton (penalty)
28min Sexton (penalty)
13min O’Gara (Conversion)
12min Howlett (try)

Six thousand Leinster fans made the journey down to Limerick to see if their team could complete their season by achieving the Heineken Cup and Magners League double.

It was Munster however who showed more desire, passion and skill to halt their neighbours winning streak. After their heroics of last week the Leinster team rarely reached the level to which they caused so much damage to Northampton in Cardiff last weekend.
Munster enjoyed long spells of dominance, but the final result was in doubt until continued Munster pressure culminated in a 79th minute penalty try to finally put the game out of reach.
A clever step by Maifi beat Eoin Reddan, and a lovely sweeping pass out to Howlett enabled Doug Howlett to cross the Leinster line for the first try of the match on eleven minutes. It had been coming after a much brighter start from the men in red, buoyed on from a great atmosphere being created by both sets of fans. A great driven conversion from O’Gara put Munster 7 points ahead.
Soon after there was a chance for 3 points for Sexton, but he opted to kick deep into Munster half to go for the try. From the resulting line out the ball was taken in the air by O’Connell and driven forward by O’Callaghan to the delight of the home fans.
Sexton converted a penalty attempt half an hour in to the game to keep Leinster in touch and the deficit at just four points. Munster were far superior in the first half but they just shaded it on the scoreboard going in at the break.
Leinster were going to have to win in the second half for the second week in a row, although this time they weren’t quite as far behind.
Leinster started pressurising Munster at the start of the second period, the pressure forcing desperate defending by O’Callaghan under the posts that saw him yellow-carded and Sexton converting three points from the resulting penalty. Munster 7 Leinster 6. It was a 1 point game now and Leinster had a man advantage. Game on.
Leinster then went ahead on 60 minutes thanks to a kick from their man of the moment Jonathan Sexton, but it was all Munster from that point on.
A marvellous cross-field kick was collected by Keith Earls who didn’t have to be asked twice to sprint over the line to put Munster back into the lead. More intense pressure on the Leinster defence in the last quarter led to Munster being awarded a late penalty try to confirm that it would be the home fans celebrating tonight in Limerick.
Before this game Munster had not scored a try against Leinster since April 2009. They won this match by three tries to zero. A much improved Munster performance, who finish the season as Magner League Champions.

Munster 19
Tries: Howlett, Earl, Penalty Try
Conversions: O’Gara (2)
Leinster
Tries: 0
Penalties: Sexton (3)

Commentary
Full time. Thats it Munster are the magner’s league champions. 3 tries to nil.
80min + No try – tap and go by Leinster. next time ball goes dead thats it.
80min David Wallace, on his 200th game is the man of the match.
80min Leinster not giving up – and they almost get over the line but its called back for a penalty to Leinster. Not giving up. We’re at the TMO anyway
79min 10 second to go. Munster are the Champions. Just waiting for the ball to go dead.
78min Another great scrum – Nigel Owens watches it all the way and has no problem calling a penalty try. Game over.
77min Grear scrum. Munster push forward and get the penalty. Munster elect to go again and turn down the kick.
77min Leinster hold on and get it but then Leinster give possession back to Munster. scrum Munster put in. 3 min to go.
75min Warwick on. Jones off
74min Leinster rob it as Hayes is the man with the ball on the wing. wrong man there but he did he best to keep the ball in play. O’Driscoll clears but comes to Howlett, what a run. Forward from a Leinster hand. Unreal from the former All Black. Deserved a finish.
73min 12th phase and crowd responds with Munster Munster.. egging their team on. Leamy is tackled there.
72min Munster looking to kill this game and are just outside Leinster 5m line, another great run by Maifi. They are tackled down.
71min Knock on from Heaslip, Munster put in to the scrum.
70min O’Gara might be seeing stars but he needs to see the posts now, he has decided he’s ok to kick. He misses, 48m out.
67min O’Gara was knocked back there by Nacewa and looks out of it. In meantime, Munster have penalty.
66min O’Gara misses, its a 3 point game. Leamy comes on. O’Callaghan goes off with Ryan moving to his role.
65min Good run by Maifi What a try! Earls takes a cross field pass brilliantly and goes over the line. He was tackled but turned it over to get over the line
64min Munster do well there and Leinster really under pressure now. Sexton manages to get it clear. Munster line out.
64min Leinster scrum
63min Good response by Munster who launch an attack of their own. Massive hit by Fitzgerald on Howlett, good tackle. Fitzgerald is down after that.
60min They take it. Leinster in the lead. Good kick by Sexton.
60min Not releasing penalty Leinster a chance to ahead.
58min Another great tackle from Jones. Leinster really piling on pressure. Healys on now
57min O’Callaghan is back on. Just before that McFadden had a chance but ball is too high.
55min Good work there. Munster clear their lines.
54min Good play again from Leinster, Jones is tackled on the Munster line. Leinster line out 5m out. Leinster are attacking again.
53min 4min before O’Callaghan returns. Leinster turnover again.
53min O’Gara kicks to touch. Munster holding on without O’Callaghan. Good throw from Varley. He’s improving as the game goes on.
52min Poor kick from O’Gara, Nacewa gathers and they march on again. Good tackle by Jones on O’Driscoll. Horgan get’s in there and gets it but Leinster punished for not releasing. Munster penalty.
50min David Wallace pounces there to get the ball.. great awareness.
49min Box kick there from Reddan, O’Gara and Murray both go for it but its O’Brien who gets it. Another magic second half coming from Munster?
48min All that was created by O’Driscoll’s great run. Sexton takes the points. Gap down to one
47min 24 phases.. its a penalty to Leinster, O’Callaghan gets yellow and is told to get off the field before it’s changed to a red by Owen’s
46min Munster slowing Leinster down but their are still camped on their own line. its relentless from the blues.
45min Some big tackles going in but Leinster have it, 2m from Munster line.
45min What a pass from O’Driscoll, great run, Reddan has it, in the Munster half now.
44min Leinster must have a magnet in the ball, once again they turn it over.. think that’s 5 or 6 today. Great tackle from Earls – ball and man there
43min good solid start to second half by Munster, its as you were. We’re just outside the Leinster 22
41min Teams are back out and we’re off for the second half. Wind has died down now and Munster are playing from right to left.
Half time Ref blows the whistle – Munster lead by four, they’ve been the better side in the opening 40 minutes.
40min Munster still have the ball in Leinster half, Leinster putting the tackles – ball comes to O’Gara, he goes for a drop goal but it falls shot
38min O’Gara kicks down the line and the line out is good again. Munster camped in Leinster half as we move to the 40 minute mark
37min Leinster holding steady but Nathan Hines is in serious trouble there for taking out Marcus Horan. Penalty Munster – No yellow card but fair call. Murray had nearly got in there before with good run – poor pass goes to nothing so penalty fair call.
36min Munster penalty. Hands on the ground there. O’Gara kicks down field. Line out. better from Varley, Ryan collects. The maul is up and running.
36min Scrum reset as they engaged early. Goes down again, another reset. 3rd time lucky?
35min Munster do well to slow Leinster down. We’re in the middle of the park, poor pass there from O’Brien, the European player of the year making a rare mistake. Munster scrum
33min Scrum Munster. Shane Jennings fails to hold on there. Again I might have spoken too soon, hardly fatigue. A once off I think.
32min Brief break in play. Catch of the breath, Munster have been the better side so far, just about. Varley’s line out’s have been poor and Tony McGahan will be disappointed with some of the turnovers but the men in red lead. Any tired leg’s Leinster might have had can’t be seen.
30min nearly spoke too soon, Barnes lets a Leinster up and under bounce and almost misses it. recovered well but could have gone anywhere. Lucky.
29min Its been an entertaining opening 1/2 hours, both sides are really going for this. Barnes looks lively for Munster too, does well in the tackle there from the restart
28min Sexton gets it, Leinster up and running
26min Bit of afters there as Marcus Horan takes O’Driscoll out of it. He has been in the wars the last few minutes. Horan was lucky there. Play resumes with Munster scrum but Leinster win a penalty. Sexton elects to kick
25min O’Driscoll is ok. Back in and straight into the tackle. Munster clear ball, big kick from Murray
24min Munster turned over then turn over themselves, still in Leinster 22. Munster penalised. Leinster break fast and now we’re on the Munster 22. O’Driscoll is down injured.
23min Munster on the attack now, Earls did well there on wing, Munster are being patience, but O’Gara slips. They still have it though.
22min Lineout lost again, the lineout’s have been poor. O’Brien win’s it then make a handling error of his own. Munster scrum.
21min Munster line out is lost in the middle but Munster somehow get it, scrappy passage of play. Nacewa eventually clears the lines.
20min Nigel Owen warns the captains about their players tacking
18min Great take from O’Connell.. Hines was outjumped there. great take.
17min Leinster run it there, and some good play ends with a good tackle on Heaslip. Penalty awarded against Munster – they kick to touch in Munster 5m line
15min Scrum collapses and Munster have penalty. O’Gara kicks to touch, however Varley’s line out doesn’t find the target
15min Munster put into the scrum
14min O’Gara does well there against McFadden, Leinster are targetting the Cork man but he’s up for it.
13min What a strike from O’Gara.. nicely struck. He drove that ball well
12min TRY! Howlett goes over for his his 8th try of the season, good play by Maifi
11min Great take there at the bag from Varley’s line out.
10min Better from Howlett and Munster there, good play with ball in hand. Line out on Leinster 5m line
8min Howlett gives away a soft penalty on the Leinster line, didn’t release Sexton after the outhalf picked up the former All Black’s kick through
7min Another Leinster turnover, their third of the game so far.
6min Scuffed by Sexton, didn’t catch it. Crowd, who were quiet during, let out screams there. Great work from Barnes in the restart
5min Penalty to Leinster, Sexton is going to kick it, its a big kick just at touchline inside the Munster half.
4min Varley with line out, O’Connell win’s it but it was scrappy
4min Munster ran it there but ball came to Jones who lost it and Reddan gets it away with a good kick. Leinster have the breeze and it showed with that kick
2min Penalty to Leinster, Reddan goes to run in
1min We’re off, first line out of the game, Varley throws.
0min Leinster, travel to Thomond Park looking to complete a historic double after winning the Heineken cup last weekend. Joel Schmidt side will have to plan with Gordon D’Arcy who is ruled out with an ankle injury, Fergus McFadden coming into for the Irish international.

Munster meanwhile has no real worries and names the same side that beat the Osprey’s in the semi final. It’s a big night for David Wallace who wins the 200th cap of a remarkable Munster career. The last time these two sides met, it was literally a game of two halves as Leinster ran rampage in the first half before Munster salvaged a late win, ending a run of 5 defeats, with a superb second half that saw the men in red overturn an 11 point deficit.

You can read a preview of the game here

 Click on the name to read our interview with Eoin Reddan, who speaks about his return to Munster.

Munster: F Jones; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, K Earls; R O’Gara, C Murray; M Horan, D Varley, J Hayes; D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell capt; D Ryan, D Wallace, J Coughlan.

Replacements: M Sherry, W du Preez, S Archer, D Leamy, N Ronan, P Stringer, P Warwick, J Murphy.

Leinster: I Nacewa; S Horgan, B O’Driscoll, F McFadden, L Fitzgerald, J Sexton, E Reddan, H van der Merwe, R Strauss, M Ross, L Cullen Capt, N Hines, S O’Brien, S Jennings, J Heaslip.

Replacements: A Dundon, C Healy, S Wright, D Toner, K McLaughlin, P O’Donohoe, I Madigan, E O’Malley.

Sportsnewsireland.com will have live score updates on all GAA Championship matches over the summer.

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