Clash of cultures

Last five Leinster v Munster games

Munster’s BJ Botha tackles Brian O’Driscoll of Leinster. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Munster’s BJ Botha tackles Brian O’Driscoll of Leinster. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho


October 5th, 2013 – Munster 19 Leinster 15 –Thomond Park
Munster end a four-game losing streak as Ian Keatley dominates the outhalf battle, nailing a penalty and converting Keith Earls’ try, which he created, all the while Ian Madigan simmered in the sin bin.

Lote Tuqiri’s late burst for glory was abruptly halted by the injury to his 34-year-old hamstring.

It ended with Munster’s scrum obliterating the visiting eight.
MUNSTER: F Jones; K Earls, C Laulala, J Downey, S Zebo; I Keatley, D Williams; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, S Archer; D Ryan, P O’Connell; P O’Mahony (capt), N Ronan, J Coughlan. Replacements: CJ Stander for O’Mahony (half-time), C Murray for Williams (53 mins), D Varley for Sherry, J Cronin for Kilcoyne (both 55 mins), BJ Botha for Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan for Ronan, D Hurley for Jones (all 68 mins).
LEINSTER: R Kearney; F McFadden, L Tuqiri, G D’Arcy, D Kearney; I Madigan, E Reddan; C Healy, S Cronin, M Ross, M McCarthy, D Toner, K McLaughlin, S O’Brien, J Heaslip (capt). Replacements: I Boss for Reddan, L Fitzgerald for McFadden (both 55 mins), J McGrath for Healy, D Ryan for O’Brien (both 64 mins), A Dundon for Cronin, M Moore for Ross (both 68 mins), J Gopperth for Tuqiri (74 mins). Sin binned: I Madigan (32-42 mins).
April 13th, 2013 – Munster 16
Leinster 22 – Thomond Park
This cracking tussle was overshadowed by Dave Kearney’s concussion. Paul O’Connell was not cited but plenty of bad blood circulated for a few weeks.

O’Driscoll, sensing this was his last chance to storm the enemy’s citadel, conjured up a wonderful flick pass for Isa Nacewa before dominating a nailbiting end game.

Dublin natives Ian Keatley and Felix Jones crossed for Munster tries before O’Driscoll’s replica of his 2009 try against England edged Leinster ahead. And guess who nipped in as scrumhalf to boot the ball out and conclude the contest?
MUNSTER : F Jones; D Hurley, C Laulala, J Downey, S Zebo; I Keatley, C Murray; D Kilcoyne , D Varley, S Archer; Donncha O’Callaghan, P O’Connell (capt); P O’Mahony, T O’Donnell , J Coughlan. Replacements : B Holland for O’Callaghan (54 mins), BJ Botha for Archer (62 mins), M Sherry for Varley (63 mins), Dave O’Callaghan for Coughlan (71 mins), J Cronin for Kilcoyne (79 mins).
LEINSTER: R Kearney; D Kearney, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, I Nacewa; I Madigan, I Boss; C Healy, S Cronin, M Ross, L Cullen (capt), Q Roux, S O’Brien, S Jennings, J Heaslip. Replacements: A Goodman for D’Arcy (13 mins), D Toner for Roux (28 mins), R Strauss for Cronin, J McGrath for Healy (both 50 mins), K McLaughlin or O’Brien (33-36 mins and 79 mins), A Conway for D Kearney (62 mins).

October 6th, 2012 – Leinster 30-21 Munster 21 – Aviva Stadium
No O’Connell and a huge gulf in standards now seemed to exist. The last Jonathan Sexton/Ronan O’Gara duel went the way of the Leinster outhalf but it was Brian O’Driscoll’s 53rd minute try in the left corner that made it 28-14. Sexton’s touchline conversion presented Munster with far too many scores to claw back.
LEINSTER: I Madigan; A Conway, B O’Driscoll, F McFadden, I Nacewa; J Sexton, E Reddan; H van der Merwe, R Strauss, M Ross; D Browne, D Toner; K McLaughlin, S Jennings, J Heaslip (capt). Replacements : J Murphy for McLaughlin (9 mins), F Carr for Nacewa (52 mins), S Cronin for Strauss (57 mins), N Reid for O’Driscoll (63 mins), J Hagan for Ross (65 mins), J Cooney for Conway (65 mins), T Denton for Browne (72 mins).
MUNSTER: D Hurley; D Howlett (capt), K Earls, C Laulala, S Zebo; R O’Gara, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, D Ryan; Dave O’Callaghan, S Dougal, P O’Mahony. Replacements: B Holland for Donncha O’Callaghan (48 mins), D Varley for Sherry (50 mins), M Sherry for Dougal (55 mins), W Du Preez for Kilcoyne (57 mins), I Keatley for O’Gara (61 mins), S Dougal for Sherry (63 mins), J Downey for Zebo (65 mins), P Butler for Dave O’Callaghan (70 mins).

March 31st, 2012 - Munster 9 Leinster 18 – Thomond Park
This one finished with Cockles and Muscles drowning out The Fields of Athenry. In Limerick of all places. Leinster’s win nailed down a home playoff and they were en route to retaining their European crown as, in stark contrast, the rebuilding process was only beginning down south.

A crumb of comfort for Munster was the rising influence of Peter O’Mahony, and less so Tommy O’Donnell, but O’Connell was so obviously missed. As were several departed forwards.
MUNSTER: F Jones; J Murphy, K Earls, L Mafi, S Zebo; R O’Gara (capt), T O’Leary; M Horan, D Varley, BJ Botha; D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll; Dave O’Callaghan, P O’Mahony, J Coughlan. Replacements: W du Preez for Horan (44 mins), M Sherry for Varley (51 mins), T O’Donnell for O’Callaghan (56 mins), D Williams for O’Leary (65 mins), D Barnes for Earls (67). Sin binned: M Horan (43-53m).
LEINSTER: R Kearney; I Nacewa, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, L Fitzgerald; J Sexton, E Reddan; H van der Merwe, S Cronin, M Ross, B Thorn, D Toner, K McLaughlin, S Jennings, J Heaslip (capt). Replacements: F McFadden for D’Arcy (34-37 and 65 mins), J Hagan for Ross (44-56 and 77 mins), C Healy for van der Merwe (54 mins), L Cullen for Thorn, S O’Brien for McLaughlin (both 55 mins), R Strauss for Cronin (59 mins), I Madigan for Sexton, I Boss for Reddan (64 mins). Sin binned: M Ross (44-54 mins).

November 4th, 2011 - Leinster 24-19 Munster, Aviva Stadium
With the World Cup fresh in the memory, this was the ultimate O’Gara versus Sexton head-to-head. Sexton, aided by a Rob Kearney drop goal on 56 minutes that made it 21-12, won the kicking blitz by a furlong.

Pascal Gauzere’s fussy adjudicating, so blatantly failing to grasp the nuances of this special rivalry, ruined any chance of a spectacle.

The French referee’s injury earlier this week ensures Alain Rolland steps in, and he should understand the unique atmosphere of this fixture and referee accordingly.

Tomás O’Leary’s late break almost stole victory from Leinster but Donnacha Ryan fumbled the ball.
LEINSTER: R Kearney; I Nacewa, F McFadden, G D’Arcy, L Fitzgerald; J Sexton, I Boss; C Healy, R Strauss, M Ross, L Cullen (capt), D Toner, S O’Brien, S Jennings, J Heaslip. Replacements: H van der Merwe for Healy (55 mins), E Reddan for Boss (58 mins), R Ruddock for Jennings (63 mins), J Hagan for Ross, K McLaughlin for Toner, E O’Malley for D’Arcy (all 73 mins). Sin binned: J Heaslip (69-79 mins).
MUNSTER: J Murphy; D Howlett, W Chambers, L Mafi, K Earls; R O’Gara, C Murray; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell (capt), D Ryan, N Ronan, D Leamy. Replacements: D Barnes for Earls (2 mins), P O’Mahony for Ronan, J Coughlan for O’Callaghan (both 52 mins), T O’Leary for Murray (63 mins), M Horan for du Preez (73 mins), I Keatley for Murphy (75 mins), J Hayes for Botha (78 mins). Sin binned: D Leamy (60-70 mins).

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