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Ronan O'Gara in action against Leinster
Billy Stickland/Inpho
What They Said In The Papers.
12 December 2007, 10:29 am
By Chris Byrne
"The winner was the side that wanted it more. In a battle of wills, it was the ladies who won out and they did so with more conviction than the scoreboard will ever tell you."
"Not that those in red didn't put everything they had into Fridays game. They did, but they still came up short and that's why Leinster's victory was both impressive and deserved." - Ciaran Cronin, The Sunday Tribune.

"Leinster triumph in domestic squabble where new leaders expose Munster's delicate centre." was the headline to the piece by Neil Francis in the Sunday Tribune. And he went on to say. "This was in effect a final Irish trial and form will be taken into account from this match. If that is the case and Paul O'Connell is still injured in February (only eight weeks away) Leo Cullen and Malcolm O'Kelly will form Ireland's second row, Shane Jennings will start ahead of David Wallace and Denis Leamy will need something special to keep Jamie Heaslip off his back.

Brendan Fanning in The Sunday Independent adopted a similar vein, "It is unique in the professional era for Leinster to go down there and trade so successfully on so many fronts. They won the set-piece, and unusually for them they won the tactical kicking game as well. Having resolved beforehand not to be pushed around, they delivered on the physical front too. If you were picking the Ireland team in the morning, Bernard Jackman would be hooking, Jamie Heaslip would be at eight and Shane Jennings would be openside.

And speaking about the seven point gap at the end, few would argue with Francis when he opined, "The winner was the side that wanted it more. In a battle of wills, it was the ladies who won out and they did so with more conviction than the scoreboard will ever tell you."

who was team manager when Leinster reached the inaugural Heineken semi-final felt that, "The timing of the Munster game was perfect for Michael Cheika's men but they knew this was a game they had to win. That's what impressed me the most. There is often a big gulf between Leinster knowing what they have to do and actually doing it."

The stand out memory for Gerry Thornley (Irish Times) came in perhaps an unusual area. "Munster weren't bad but without the go-forward muscle of Paul O'Connell and Alan Quinlan were made to look a little ordinary and had surprisingly few ideas behind. An outstanding memory will have been that of the Leinster pack mauling Munster 30 metres to their own line at the end of the first half."


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