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Report | Munster Beaten In Interpro Final

2nd September 2023 By The Editor

Leinster celebrate a try.

Leinster celebrate a try. Inpho

Munster were beaten 33-14 by Leinster at Musgrave Park in the Vodafone Interprovincial Championship final in Cork on Saturday evening.

Niamh Briggs’ side fell at the final hurdle as they looked to make it three titles in-a-row with Leinster deserved victors at a sun-drenched Musgrave Park.

Munster made a brilliant start and could have built an early lead but for exceptional Leinster defence. The scores were tied at 14 apiece after the opening 40 with Munster rueing a number of missed opportunities.

A brilliant individual effort from Derbhile Nic a Bháird and Chloe Pearse’s powerful effort, both converted by Nicole Cronin, had twice given Munster the lead.

A penalty try earned by the Leinster scrum and a Leah Tarpey score on the stroke of half-time saw Leinster twice peg Munster back.

The second half belonged to Leinster as Tarpey scored her second and they used their powerful scrum to score a fourth try before Elise O’Byrne-White rounded off the win late on.

Eimear Considine and Maeve Óg O’Leary made great yards as Munster came flying out of the blocks but a knock-on saw the chance go abegging.

Nic a Bháird, Muirne Wall and Aoife Doyle all made important tackles as Leinster started to grow into the game before Munster worked the ball into Nic a Bháird in midfield.

The no.8 showed brilliant speed to go outside the Leinster defence and step the full-back for a magnificent opening try with Cronin converting.

Munster were unable to push home the advantage and the teams were level on the half hour when Leinster were awarded a penalty try after another dominant scrum.

To compound matters, prop Róisín Ormond was sin-binned but the 14 women of Munster still managed to hit back immediately.

Nic a Bháird won a penalty at the breakdown after the restart and Cronin kicked to the corner with Pearse finishing expertly from close range.

Poor discipline from Munster gave Leinster another chance before the break as the visitors kicked to the corner and Tarpey eventually crossed from close range. Dannah O’Brien’s second conversion made it 14-all at the interval.

Muirne Wall came up with a magnificent last-ditch tackle to save a try early in the second half but Tarpey finished well minutes later to give Leinster the lead for the first time.

Munster very nearly hit back through Aoife Doyle but Cronin’s crossfield kick just wouldn’t bounce up for the winger despite her best efforts to touch down.

The power of the Leinster pack led to their fourth try on 65 minutes as their five-yard scrum inched over the line and Hannah O’Connor touched down at the base.

An excellent Leinster break put the game to bed on 73 minutes as replacement O’Byrne-White scored in the left corner after a fine move.

Munster kept going and were held up over the line  late on but the day and the title belonged to Leinster.

Munster: Eimear Considine (Aoife Corey, 46); Aoife Doyle (Ellen Boylan, 77), Alana McInerney, Stephanie Nunan (Nicole Cronin, 63), Stephanie Carroll; Nicole Cronin (Kate Flannery, 54) Muirne Wall; Róisín Ormond (Fiona Reidy, 54), Ciara Farrell (Beth Buttimer, 46), Fiona Reidy (Eilís Cahill, 33); Dorothy Wall (C) (Claire Bennett, 74), Clodagh O’Halloran (Jane Clohessy, 69); Chloe Pearse, Maeve Óg O’Leary (Brianna Heylmann, 77), Derbhile Nic a Bháird.

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