Leinster beat Munster in Pro14 decider

Leinster hooker Ronan Kelleher produced a few his typical attacking thrusts
Leinster (6) 16
Tries: Conan Cons: Byrne Pens: R Byrne 3
Munster (6) 6
Pens: Carbery 2

Leinster wore down Munster to clinch a fourth successive Pro14 title as they earned a deserved 16-6 win on the RDS.

The holders lorded first-half territory however got here up in opposition to a resolute Munster defence as Ross Byrne and Joey Carbery kicked two penalties at both finish.

Nonetheless, Jack Conan produced the Leinster breakthrough six minutes into the second half after extra strain.

One other Byrne kick prolonged Leinster’s lead after he got here again on when Johnny Sexton took a blow to the top.

Sexton lasted solely a few minutes following his 59th-minute introduction after being caught by an unintended glancing boot though he was in a position to stroll off the sphere unaided.

Regardless of the Eire captain’s absence, Leinster managed the sport with the minimal of fuss within the closing phases with a lot of the motion going down within the Munster half – as had been the case all through the 80 minutes.

Gavin Coombes in possession for Munster in the Pro14 final at the RDS
Gavin Coombes produced a few first-half carries which helped Munster draw stage earlier than the break

Leinster put Irish rivals of their place

Quite a lot of pundits had tipped Munster to earn their first Pro14 title since 2011 however Leinster managed the sport from the off as they did not change into annoyed by their first-half lack of ability to show territorial domination into factors.

Munster’s type this season – as they matched Leinster’s marketing campaign by dropping solely two Convention video games and enjoying some attacking rugby within the course of – recommended that the hole could be closing.

However judging by the way in which they got here out, Leinster had been decided to maintain their Irish rivals of their place as they owned the ball within the opening 12 minutes to forge an early 6-0 lead.

Leinster’s threats had been coming from all around the pitch with dynamic hooker Ronan Kelleher producing a few typical dynamic bursts and the jinking Jordan Larmour additionally wanting notably harmful with ball in hand.

Straight from the restart after Byrne’s second penalty, a Rhys Ruddock side-entry to a ruck gifted Carbery three factors however the the rest of the primary interval was a story of Leinster producing moments of hazard just for the Munster defence to stay agency.

On two events, the over-lapping Larmour appeared set to attain tries just for wild passes from centre Rory O’Loughlin which flew into contact.

A triumph of the Leinster collective

Lock Scott Fardy did breach the Munster line within the twenty seventh minute however was held up by CJ Stander and Gavin Coombes which summed up the first-half defensive effort of Johann van Graan’s aspect.

Additional possibilities additionally went begging for the holders earlier than Conan’s excessive sort out on Conor Murray enabled Carbery to stage simply earlier than the break.

However any suggestion that Leinster may pay for his or her first-half missed possibilities was quickly out the window as they continued to dominate.

Intense strain noticed Eire full-back Hugo Keenan held up over the road earlier than Conan burrowed his manner by way of the Munster defence after the resultant five-metre scrum.

Byrne’s 61st-minute penalty was the one remaining rating because the holders gave their opponents no alternative to get again within the contest.

With the competition primarily a battle of the 2 packs, man of the match Conan and Kelleher had been among the many standout performers however this was very a lot a triumph of the Leinster collective.

How they lined up

Leinster: Keenan; Larmour, O’Loughlin, Henshaw, Kearney; R Byrne, McGrath (capt); Healy, Kelleher, Porter; Toner, Fardy; Ruddock, van der Flier, Conan.

Replacements: Tracy, E Byrne, Furlong, Molony, Baird, Gibson-Park, Sexton, Lowe.

Munster: Haley; Conway, Farrell, de Allende, Earls; Carbery, Murray; Cronin, N Scannell, Ryan; Kleyn, Beirne; Coombes, O’Mahony (capt), Stander.

Replacements: O’Byrne, Kilcoyne, Archer, Holland, O’Donoghue, Casey, Hanrahan, R Scannell.

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)

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