ALL THINGS IRELAND: MUNSTER 9- 18 LEINSTER
IRELAND BEAT NEW ZEALAND FOR THE 1ST TIME 40-29 IN HISTORIC WIN IN CHICAGO...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

MUNSTER 9- 18 LEINSTER

Man of the match, Isa NacewaIsa Nacewa proved to be be the vital difference between Leinster & Munster in this Rabo-direct Pro 12 League sell-out-game at Thomond Park on Saturday evening.
In a hotly-contested game between Leinster & Munster in which penalty-kicks were the order of the day as both packs went for the jugular from the off, it was Leinster who took the lead through a Jonathan Sexton penalty on 10 mins.
Ronan O' Gara soon levelled with a shot of his own to make it 3-3 as both sides engaged in a physical on the pitch without quite reaching the skill-level to find the killer score in the game.
Leinster's Sexton scored two more penalties on 36 & 39 mins while Munster's wise old head O'Gara put one over to make it 9-6 coming up to half-time.

The repeated infringements at the countless scrums finally gave vociferous Welsh referree Nigel Owen no choice but to send both Marcus Horan & Mike Ross to the sin-bin.

Strangely, it resulted in a suddenly improved match to watch as the game became quicker, full of movement and devoid of tedious scum-time machinations.

Leinster's Isa Nacewa made a great burst towards the Munster try-line only to be stopped short by some aggressive tackling to keep him out.
A further penalty by Johnny Sexton extended Leinster's lead and when Sub McFadden landed a spot-kick on 60 mins to leave it 15-9 to Leinster, it looked bad for Munster on their home-ground.
To add insult to injury, sub Ian Madigan booted over  a great drop-goal to seal the win for Leinster in Thomond Park.

This was the Celtic league, which Leinster also lead but the Heineken Cup quarter-finals are up for both teams next week-end, that's where it really matters.
After Saturday's match, Leinster will be slight favourites to progress in that competition.

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