Munster battled on to get a win over Leinster in a less than exciting Celtic League opener at Donnybrook on Friday night.
Just five minutes into the game, Leinster put together an excellent try. Gordon D'Arcy beat several players down the right, and when the ball was swung left a one-handed flick by Des Dillon left debutant winger Brendan Burke with a simple finish.
With Munster down five minutes in, the game had all the makings of a thrilling derby, but sadly that was not to be the case.
The more experienced Munster pack gradually exerted more control, and Jeremy Staunton had passed up two penalty chances before putting Munster on the board after half an hour, making the score 5 points to 3 at half time.
The second half continued in the same vein, with a spiralling penalty count against the home team. Munster were not playing much either, but they were happy to let Staunton add to their total now that he had found his kicking boots. Jeremy gave Munster the lead in the 49th minute, and kicked another three good penalities in the 57th, 65th and 75th minutes, to give Munster a 15-3 lead.
With the clock counting down, Leinster decided to up their game and began launching a series of surges after a penalty from D'Arcy put them back within one score. But the Munster defence stood strong and Leinster never looked likely to score, nor did they deserve to.
As far as Munster are concerned, there is defenitely plenty to build on for the long season ahead, and any win over Leinster in Donnybrook is well worth a celabration. But for Leinster there were precious few positives in evidence, in what was an unimpressive start.
Munster 15 Leinster 8
Penalties: Jeremy Staunton (5)
Tries: Brendan Burke (1). Penalties: Gordon D'Arcy (1)
15 - Jeremy Staunton, 14 - Shaun Payne, 13 - Mike Mullins, 12 - Rob Henderson, 11 - Mossie Lawlor, 10 - Jason Holland, 9 - Eoin Reddan, 1 - Simon Kerr, 2 - Frankie Sheahan, 3 - Martin Cahill, 4 - Donnacha O'Callaghan, 5 - Eddie Halvey, 6 - Jim Williams, 7 - Alan Quinlan, 8 - Anthony Foley.
Replacements: James Blaney, Jodie Danaher, Trevor Hogan, Denis Leamy, Frank Murphy, Killian Keane, Jason Jones Hughes.
15 - Christian Warner 14 - Gordon D'Arcy 13 - Kieran Lewis 12 - David Quinlan 11 - Brendan Burke 10 - Matthew Leek 9 - Brian O'Meara 1 - John Lyne 2 - Gavin Hickie 3 - Emmett Byrne 4 - Leo Cullen 5 - Ben Gissing 6 - Aidan McCullen 7 - Keith Gleeson (Captain) 8 - Des Dillon
Replacements: 16 - Niall Treston 17 - David Blaney 18 - Aidan Kearney 19 - Shane Jennings 20 - Brian O'Riordan 21 - Gary Brown 22 - John McWeeney