Munster 11 Leinster 10
With Leinster having won the title last season, Munster were desperate to avenge their loss this time around and were fired up after three comfortable wins already in the competition.
After applying most of the early pressure, Carol Murphyâ00s penalty put them ahead just seven minutes in and with Sarahjane Belton using her boot to excellent effect, Leinsterâ00s strong backs were given few chances to shine going forward. They were rewarded for their efforts when scrum half Louise Beamish crashed over after half an hour. Leinster coughed up their own ball in their â0022 and Beamish scooped perfectly and fought her way over the line.
Their celebrations were short lived though as Leinster had the last say of the half when they worked their way back up the field and scored an excellent try of their own. Munster conceded a penalty which Grace Davitt booted into the corner, and her side drove Munster right back to their own line. Liz Comerford organised their impressive driving maul and her pack drove over the line with captain Yvonne Nolan touching down.
It set the game up for an excellent second half, but tight defences and a high handling error rate meant the game never really exploded into life.
Leinster are not the same team when Tania Rosser is not playing at scrum-half, and though she did well at out-half, her team missed her spark and exceptional attacking ability around the base.
Too often she was shut down by Belton and Munsterâ00s back row and it meant Leinsterâ00s strong midfield of Daviit and Shannon Houston never really threatened until the last fifteen minutes when they finally let loose and played some of the best rugby of the day.
Munster too were guilty of errors although they looked like scoring right after the break when Jeanette Feighery was set away by Belton and it took a massive tackle from Houston to stop her from going all the way.
Murphy knocked over her second penalty to take Munster out to 11 and then Grace Davitt missed a straight forward kick in front of the sticks which was a blow to her side as they were getting right back into the game.
Credit to Leinster for their attacking onslaught in the final plays of the game because some of their attacks and continuity play was outstanding. Brennan, Rosser and replacement Emer McManamly were all stand-outs and had Rosser held onto a difficult pass in the final minutes she was certain to have been rewarded with a try.
As it was, even though they were by far the superior team in the last quarter, they lost Davitt to the sin bin and it looked like their chance was missed. They did score right at the death in a well worked try when winger Louise McKeever won the race for the line but the difficult conversion was missed and the title was Munsterâ00s.
Munster: A Greensmith, C Murphy, J Feighery, H Brosnan, M Kelly, S J Belton, L Beamish, L Guest, C Fannning, M Barrett, K O â00Loughlin, Dee Scannell, R McNulty, P Oâ00Connor, H Jones
Replacements: K Fitzpatrick (for H Brosnan 20), N Oâ00Keeffe (for Laura Guest 64), Dee Oâ00Brien (for H Jones 66), M Halbert (for L Beamish 79).
Leinster: V McGin, L McKeever, G Davitt, S Houston, J Doyle, T Roser, L Comerford, F Coughlan, Y Nolan, S Pehrson, C Mahon, C Power, S Ryan, B Byrne, O Brennan.
Replacements: E McManamly (for B Byrne 63).
Referee: R Coughlan (MAR)
IWRFU Press Officer