Throwback Thursday: Munster vs Leinster classic contests

Charlie Peat
21 December 2017

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Munster against Leinster is one of the biggest fixtures in the Guinness PRO14 calendar and the two will be serving up a Christmas cracker this weekend.

One thrilling match between the two old rivals has come and gone this season but as we gear up for our second instalment, we’ve delved into the archives to look back at five classic contests between the two.

October 2017: Guinness PRO14 regular season

Leinster 23-17 Munster

Beating your old rival is always special but for Leinster but the victory was made even sweeter thanks to a record-breaking Johnathan Sexton.

The Irish international set a new points-scoring record for the Boys in Blue, eclipsing Felipe Contepomi’s record of 1,225 points in the compelling victory over Munster.

Rory O’Loughlin’s well-taken brace of tries had the hosts leading 14-7 at half-time and in cruise control.

But a resilient Munster fought back thanks to tries from the returning Keith Earls but three second half penalties from Sexton ensured the win and place in history for the British & Irish Lion.

May 2011: Pro12 final

Munster 19-9 Leinster

The last final played between these two giants of the league and it was Munster who emerged victorious.

This was the second time in three years that Munster had triumphed domestically as they edged past the European champions at Croke Park.

Doug Howlett and Keith Earls both crossed for Munster while a late penalty try rounded off the win over Leinster, who could only muster three penalties courtesy of Johnathan Sexton.

Despite their dominance in the contest, this would be Munster’s last triumph over their rivals for two years.

May 2009: European Champions Cup semi-final

Leinster 25-6 Munster

Defending European Champions Cup holders Munster sauntered into this match-up full of confidence but they would be given a rude awakening by their Irish counterparts.

Few gave Leinster a chance having lost the previous two encounters to Munster but they blew the Reds away at a packed Croke Park.

Gordan D’Arcy’s first-half try helped Leinster into a slender 11-6 lead at the interval before the Dublin side took the game away from Munster in the second period.

Luke Fitzgerald’s try widened the gap and Brian O’Driscoll’s superb breakaway score condemned Munster to a humbling defeat.

October 2014: Pro12 regular season

Leinster 23-34 Munster

Since beating Leinster in the league final back in 2011 it had been played six, lost five for the Munstermen.

It was time to put the record right and a stirring opening 40 at the Aviva Stadium did just that for Munster.

James Cronin, Robin Copeland and Ian Keatley all went over in a stunning first half for the visitors and they went in 28-9 ahead at the break.

Leinster were far from dead and buried and mounted a late revival thanks to wing Darragh Fanning and a penalty try.

But Munster held firm despite having four men sin-binned to secure their first away win over Leinster since 2008.

April 2011: PRO12 regular season

Munster 24-23 Leinster

A regular season classic between the two rivals as Munster snatched victory in the final moments to extend their lead at the top of the league table.

Shane Horgan scored the only try of the game in the first half with Jonathan Sexton kicking five penalties and Ronan O’Gara three before half-time.

O’Gara added four further penalties and Paul Warwick one for Munster as Sexton landed one more penalty for Leinster.

But as Leinster looked to be celebrating a rare victory away at Munster, up stepped O’Gara to kick the winning the penalty in the final minute of the game.

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