7 Dec, 18:36
Heavy defeat for Dolphin in Ulster Bank League Division 1A as Cork Constitution and Young Munster win but Garryowen are still searching for their first win of the campaign.
Leonard Allen & Cormac Liddy
Munster started the better of the two teams and early pressure gave full back Ben Martin an easy 3 pointer right in front of the posts. More Munster pressure gave Martin another opportunity and with the advantage of a strong wind Martin split the posts from the half way line and gave Munster a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes.
Leinster started to settle after the nervous start and soon replied to get their first 3 points after 15 minutes with a penalty by Ivan Poole. Martin quickly extended the lead in Munster’s favour and this time from wide and left curling the ball over the bar giving Munster a 9-3 advantage after 20 minutes.
After their poor start Leinster began to test the Munster defence. Gearoid Phelan and Dan McCabe were relentless in their tackling and pushed the Leinster attack back. Right on half time Munster patiently built the phases and with a penalty advantage out half Lyons lined up a drop goal from 20 metres out to give the Munster men a 12-3 lead at half time.
Leinster had a 9 point deficit to make up and began the second half the better of both teams bringing the score to 12-9 with 55 minutes gone thanks to two penalties by Poole. Leinster finally unlocked the Munster defence and saw Eoin Walsh touch down near the posts and Poole converted 16-12.
Twenty minutes to go Leinster had the lead and Munster needed something special, with 10 minutes to go Ian Fitzgerald provided it. The Munster back line attacked from the halfway wide and right offloading four times before the Clare man gathered the final offload which put him through for a try. The conversion was just wide and at 17-16 with 10 minutes left the tie could have been anyone’s.
With the strong wind behind them Leinster knew they only had to get in range and Munster put the bodies on the line to keep them out pushing the Leinster offensive back into their own half. With three minutes to go a Leinster scrum was driven back by the dominant Munster pack and Leinster conceded the penalty which gave Martin the opportunity to extend Munster’s advantage.
20-16 was the final score and Munster picked up a crucial away win for the first time in 10 years away to Leinster. The squad now faces Ulster who lost to Connacht 13-10 next Saturday at 2.30 in Kanturk.
Scorers Leinster: Eoin Walsh try, Ivan Poole 3 pens, con.
Munster: Ian Fitzgerald try, Ben Martin 4 pens, Morgan Lyons drp gl.
Munster: Ben Martin (Clonmel); Ciaran O’Coilleain (Corca Dhuibhne),Murray Kinsella (Waterpark), Darren O'Keeffe (Crosshaven), Peter Earlie (Kanturk); Morgan Lyons (Clonmel), Aaron Daly (Youghal); Alex Simpson (Richmond), Fergal Lawlor (St Senan’s), Michael McInerny (Ennis); Stephen Burke (Galbally), Sean Walsh (Clanwilliam); Brian O'Sullivan capt (Tralee), Gearoid Phelan (Richmond), Dan McCabe (Kanturk).
Replacements: Patrick Ryan (St Senan’s), Mike Cronin (Castleisland), Brian O'Neill (Kanturk), Brian Lyons (Thurles), Ian Fitzgerald (St Senan’s), Ruairi Geary(Cobh Pirates), Jeffrey McNamara (Richmond).
Leinster: Karl Daragh (Newbridge); Padraig Mahon (Newbridge), Ross Barbour (Enniscorthy), Damien McCabe (Enniscorthy), Ross Doyle (Portarlington); Ivan Poole (Enniscorthy), Richie Hughes (Tullamore); John Rowe (Wexford Wanderers), Brian Doyle (Clondalkin), Shane Reilly (Portlaoise); David Milne (Tullamore), Frank Murphy (Tullow); Tony Ryan (Enniscorthy), Ronan Mangan (Newbridge), Eoin Walsh (IT Carlow).
Replacements: Luke Goff (Enniscorthy), Rob Dempsey (Roscrea), Mitchel Dalton (Enniscorthy), Martin O’Neill (Co Carlow), Gavin Kennedy (Ashbourne), Ray Moloney (Roscrea), Rory McCann (Newbridge).