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Leinster 17-15 Munster
9 September 2004, 1:05 am
Munster fought a tough battle in Donnybrook on Saturday evening but a 14 point lead in the first half saw the Leinster side under the direction of Declan Kidney close out the game 17-15.
Munster fought a tough battle in Donnybrook on Saturday evening but a 14 point lead in the first half saw the Leinster side under the direction of Declan Kidney close out the game 17-15.

The only joy for Munster was a bonus point following the narrow defeat.

Munster started well but despite a colourful opening including a searing third-minute break from Christian Cullen, Munster went scoreless for the first 35 minutes

Leinster were buoyed by two first half tries from Gary Brown and James Norton, while Munster were forced to rely on the boot of Paul Burke, who kicked all of his side s points.

Leinster opened the scoring when Brown glided past Christian Cullen to score to the left of the post after only 14 minutes. Brian O Meara added the conversion, and only five minutes later Norton kicked ahead and was able to control the ball with his feet to get the second try.

O Meara increased the lead with his second conversion and extended Leinster to 17-0 with a penalty after half an hour before Burke replied with his first successful kick just before the break.

The early second half was commanded by Burke who reduced the gap to only five points with three successful kicks in the first 25 minutes of the second period.

Leinster were then forced to defend resolutely as Munster pressed in the closing stages with Christian Cullen getting closest to breaking the Leinster line but a knock on saved the home side.

A yellow card for Ricky Nebbett left the home side struggling in the final five minutes but they were able to hang on.

Final Score: Leinster 17-15 Munster

Munster

15: Christian Cullen 14: John Kelly 13: Shaun Payne 12: Jason Holland (R. Henderson, 57) 11: Anthony Horgan 10: Paul Burke 9: Eoin Reddan (M. Prendergast, 58) 1: Gordon McIlwham 2: Frank Sheahan (J. Flannery, 80) 3: John Hayes 4: Tom Bowman 5: Trevor Hogan 6: Denis Leamy 7: David Wallace 8: Jim Williams (Captain, S. Keogh, 80).

Leinster

15: James Norton 14: John McWeeney (D. Hickie, 10) 13: Christian Warner 12: David Quinlan 11: Gary Brown 10: David McAllister (G. Easterby, 58) 9: Brian O Meara 1: Emmett Byrne 2: Gavin Hickie 3: Peter Coyle (R. Nebbett, 51) 4: Leo Cullen (Captain) 5: Ben Gissing 6: Aidan McCullen 7: Shane Jennings (P. Coyle, 80) 8: Des Dillon (V. Costello, 51).

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Team
Pld
W
D
L
Pts
1Leinster Rugby19141469
2Ulster Rugby19140565
3Munster Rugby19140563
4Glasgow Warriors18140460
5Ospreys19111756
6Scarlets1991945
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