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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Leinster narrowly beat Munster in intense derby at Thomond Park

Leinster narrowly beat Munster in intense derby at Thomond Park

Jonathan Sexton had the final say at Thomond Park this weekend as he kicked Leinster to a 16-15 victory over fierce rivals Munster in a tense Magners League all Irish derby.

It was the battle of the flyhalfs as Sexton was up against Ireland stalwart Ronan OGara, and from the get go the battle was clear for all to see as OGara was pumped up after charging down a Sexton kick.

The game was niggly throughout and had more than its fair share of incident, with penalties and yellow cards ruling the tense encounter. The one try in the match was a superb effort that was finished off well by Irish fullback Rob Kearney.

Sexton, despite coming out on top in the end, actually missed a few kicks and was under a fair amount of pressure as his Test rival OGara kicked all Munsters 15 points.

The young flyhalf showed his temperament though as shortly after missing an important kick, he stepped up to slot the deciding one after OGara was penalised.

Man of the Match Jamie Heaslip later compared the encounter to a Test match.

"That was right up there with any international match in terms of intensity. It's always nice to beat Munster, but we know that it was a battle and we just came out on top," he said.

"We have faith in our defence and we didn't panic and there were confrontations all over the pitch. We're not going to let this win go to our heads.

"Although it's good to have a bit more space between us at the top of the league, we have a lot of hard games coming up, particularly next week's one against Clermont Auvergne," he added.

Leinster now have a seven-point advantage at the top of the Magners League and are looking good ahead of their Heineken Cup quarter final match with Clermont.

As mentioned above, there was only the one try in the match so these highlights include a few of the yellow card incidents, as well as the final winning kick.


Time: 06:18

Posted at 6:46 pm | 27 comments

Viewing 27 comments

Anonymous April 06, 2010 6:37 pm

Time to stem the red tide.

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Conor April 06, 2010 6:38 pm

Thanks Leinster for that "kick up the backside"
Now bring on Northampton!

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MCB April 06, 2010 6:58 pm

Munster looking tired alright. Something not clicking this season. Never write them off though. Hoping all the criticism they're getting is going to seriously motivate them. Good to see ROG playing well

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Box April 06, 2010 7:25 pm

Leinster's defence was insane.

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conor April 06, 2010 8:15 pm

Hopefully Munster will take this as as a wake up call before the weekend and hopefully Leinster dont let it go to their head like the last time they beat Munster. sad to see that some of the Munster crowd seem to have lost the respect they are famed for though

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M April 06, 2010 8:16 pm

Nasty looking spear tackle, Hines maybe a bit unlucky to be the one carded.

And at 63mins good to see O'Gara giving away the penalty that won Lenister the game (remind you of a certain test in South Africa?!). Clearly the ball wasn't out of the ruck and you can hear the referee shout that it's not out, yet ROG runs round like a clown. Brilliant stuff!

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BilloK April 06, 2010 9:07 pm

what a terrible mistake by ROG

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Anonymous April 06, 2010 9:09 pm

At 4.15 when sexton's taking a kick you can hear someone in the crowd go"uuuugghh wnker!"

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Third Centre April 06, 2010 10:07 pm

hard luck munster. They'll be amuch better team next weekend. De villiers is starting to show some real form now, a shame he's only with ye for the year. And howlett's still classy. Don't know if Rog misheard the ref for the last penalty ?

So happy to have won but still don't feel very confident about c;ermont next week!

anyone know where i can see that tackle by mcfadden on Mafi ?

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Anonymous April 06, 2010 10:20 pm

the size of kearney arms 0_0

wheres BOD?

nasty kick on reddans noggin....didnt look particularly intentional, but looked sore...

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Miller April 07, 2010 12:22 am

When are Munster going to learn how to use their backs?

For the first 25 or so minutes, they looked like they could maybe take it to Leinster, but then....well...

I agree with Box - Leinster's defense was great at keeping Munster dead in the water in the middle of the field. Nothing seemed to work - except when they tried to make runs at pace onto the ball...which they didn't do.

I was glad to see ROG make Sexton look second-best, though - at least when it came to kicking. Of course, Sexton did have a pretty good defensive game (something ROG doesn't do quite that often), but what a shocker he had at kicking...

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Marquez April 07, 2010 12:31 am

O'Callaghan really needs to find out how to keep his head on straight. What a silly penalty to give away and take 10 minutes in the bin for. Right from the initial whistle, though, you could tell he was going to get in trouble sometime during the match.

...as for Hines and Quinlan, well, that's just a lost cause. Let them do what they do...

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Anonymous April 07, 2010 1:27 am

Very unlike ROG to give away a stupid penalty.......Oh wait. lol

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sebastian April 07, 2010 10:23 am

lucky bounce for the try
wobbly game for sexton but still better than rog in my eyes

looking forward to the weekend

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Anonymous April 07, 2010 3:20 pm

Sexton is, at the end of the day, a much better player than Rog. Fair dues to Rog, he's done his bit and kicked an awful lot of points but looking forward, you can't have a 10 who can't tackle. I'd take Sexton saving us 5 points by tackling than Rog scoring us 2 or 3 by penalties or drop goals.
There's a beaut of a picture on the Irish independent of Heaslip smashing Rog by the way.

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Michael April 07, 2010 4:08 pm

That is retarded, Sexton may save 5 points by being a better tackler than ROG, but you give up 9-15 points in every match when he's on the field kicking instead of O'Gara.

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Anonymous April 07, 2010 4:18 pm

im surprised more people arnt talking about the huge chance that the'll be meeting again but in paris! (how awesome would that be!) but the two teams are looking pretty good to get far this year

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HM April 07, 2010 7:12 pm

None of those cards looked deserved - maybe the ref just wanted some limelight.

ROG on the other hand deserved a red for sheer stupidity.

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HM April 07, 2010 7:14 pm

Oh, and why does any team even bother putting garryowens up when they're playing against Kearney?

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jej April 07, 2010 9:10 pm

Sexton's kicking is only a blip, he'll soon be back to where he was in the autumn, according to my friend who worked in the IRFU it's somehow related to when he pulled his quad and had a 3 week layoff a while back.

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N April 07, 2010 11:58 pm

HM -

I think the ref was just trying to assert himself early on. Clearly, the game was going to be a heated match, as it is every time Munster and Leinster meet. I was just glad O'Connell wasn't on for Munster and Jackman wasn't in on Leinster...there were enough firestarters on the pitch already.

As for why anyone would put up a high ball against Kearney...I really have no idea. It's like kicking the ball downfield anytime Juan Martin Lobbe is on and expecting him not to catch it...that ain't happening.

I think you're a little harsh on ROG, though. I mean, DOC gave away 3 points, but how many did he bring to Munster? Indirectly, sure, he helped a lot. But ROG slotted Munster's 15. What I DON'T get, though, is why after Munster were down 1 point, they never went for the drop goal...they were within 30 meters plenty of times during the last 10 minutes...and with how O'Gara was kicking that match, I would've bet he could hit a 30m drop goal no problem.

Oh well. Great match, though. Heaslip definitely deserved Man of the Match.

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Me April 08, 2010 12:43 am

I'd still go with a tough call between rog and sexton....

sexton has the tackling....well, better than rog anyway...

but rog has the kicking...and i think he has the better head (when he is switched on) but that is due to time and experience...

but like i said its a tough call....rog 'better head' seems to be lacking more recently...but his kicking is still up there...

I think it depends...

you have to look at the fact that rog is on the way out, and sexton is young blood...

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mise April 08, 2010 1:30 am

def sth up with the munster fans this time. they do not like Sexton. I was in Limerick for this one, and Munster fans were a bit more edgy than usual. A lot of annoyance re sexton on the Ireland team.

I did hear, however, that when someone was shouting while sexton was kicking, other munster fans called the stewards, to have him kicked out. They succeeded apparently.

The thing about munster thou, was that thomond park was 100% quiet for kickers, not 95 not 99, literally 100%. I for one hope that stays.

(Don't want to paint too bleak a picture, mind: There were Plenty of shared singsongs after the match thou, on the streets with buskers!)

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Anonymous April 08, 2010 5:45 pm

What happened to 'the silence' when opposition taking kicks?

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Anonymous April 08, 2010 9:59 pm

Im a Sexton fan he runs and his territory kicking is good.I remember a time where he would step up and you would be certain he will hit.But recently he has been missing place kicks.But im also a ROG fan I think been on the bench for Ireland has made him hungry and fix his kicking.A no 10 has to attack as well as defend Sexton does that but you have to be accurate with the boot.I think he has to pass on long rang place kicks till he has the mentality back to hit from the halfway or near that far range.We are so lucky to have 2 class out halfs.When im not supporting Leinster im supporting Munster.I would love them to meet in the final if they both win their semis they will.

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themull April 09, 2010 11:56 am

Sexton > ROG in defense and attack and therefore keeping the opposion defense honest, ie they must make sure that the 10 channel is well marshalled because he will be able to make a break through it...

ROG however is much better, prob best in the world(top 2/3 anyways) at kicking from hand and penalties....

IMO, at present, it should come down to who we are playin when deciding which of the two should start....I we're playing the likes of New Zealan, SA or Fracne etc all with big and powerful backs then put Sexton in because they all know how to exploit the hole ROG will leave in the line...However if we're playing the likes of Wales, England maybe even Australia whose backs are more based around speed than power then I say put ROG in to keep them on the back foot with kicks in behind...

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TJ April 18, 2010 4:00 am

O'Gara coming in from the side, brilliant! Best player from Munster is Eoin Reddin.

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