Leinster coach Joe Schmidt believes his side’s 18-9 RaboDirect PRO12 defeat of Munster owed much to the performance of his Ireland internationals.
Fly-half Jonathan Sexton kicked 12 points as he came out on top in his personal duel with long-term rival Ronan O’Gara while they were important contributions from No.8 Jamie Heaslip along with centre pairing Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy.
Both D’Arcy and Heaslip were adjudged to have had poor Six Nations campaigns by their own lofty standards while Brian O’Driscoll completed 80 minutes for the first time this season.
And Schmidt was delighted by their collective performance at the home of their arch rivals.
“I was really happy with both of them [D’Arcy and Heaslip],” Schmidt told the Irish Times.
“I’m sure Jamie will remind you that he’s unbeaten as Leinster captain,
“He does a great job as leader, in that he says very little and does a fair bit for the cause and I don’t think there were too many collisions that Gordon D’Arcy didn’t win tonight. His footwork and strength in contact and ability to fight forward was really beneficial for us. “They (Munster) are so strong in their choke tackle and they didn’t get a choke on us.
“Jonny wasn’t too happy to come off but he’ll be good for next week
“I’ve come here with Clermont a couple of times and gone home with my tail between my legs, and we got beaten twice here last year.
“I’d sympathise a little bit with Tony (McGahan). He had a few guys out and we were bringing experience off the bench, and I think that experience allowed us to dominate the last 20.”