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Wasteful Leinster survive Munster scare in Dublin

Jonathan Sexton of Leinster is tackled by Jeremy Loughman and Keynan Knox of Munster during the United Rugby Championship match between Leinster and Munster at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Replacement Rob Russell’s late bonus-point try ended a youthful Munster’s valiant effort as Leinster claimed a 27-13 derby win at the Aviva Stadium.


Munster were only 7-6 behind at half-time, Joey Carbery kicking two penalties either side of Scott Penny’s 27th-minute try.

The visitors put sin-binnings for Keynan Knox and Jean Kleyn behind them with a well-worked score from Liam Coombes.

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Crucially, Dan Sheehan was quick to respond for Leinster in the 49th minute and, from then on, it was smart wet-weather rugby that took the United Rugby Championship leaders clear.

Captain Johnny Sexton and Player of the Match Luke McGrath seized control, the latter crossing from a close-in maul. The final flourish put Russell over in the left corner.

Leinster, who were often guilty of misfiring in the opposition 22, were held scoreless despite a dominant start. Jason Jenkins was held up early on and Sexton put a penalty wide.

Having missed a longer effort just moments earlier, Carbery kicked a territory-starved Munster ahead in the 21st minute.


However, prop Knox’s forearm soon made contact with James Ryan’s head for a yellow card. Penny duly burrowed in under the posts for Sexton to convert.

Jack Crowley and Tom Ahern increased their influence for Munster in broken play, the momentum leading to a second Carbery penalty.

A resilient Munster ended the opening half with Kleyn in the bin for taking out Jamie Osborne after a kick, but skipper Jack O’Donoghue held up Sheehan from a maul.

Roaring back in attack, Gavin Coombes’ looping pass sent his cousin Liam over after O’Donoghue’s kick chase had forced an error from Jimmy O’Brien.


Although a brilliant Carbery conversion gave Munster a six-point buffer, Sheehan replied with his sixth try of the season. He dummied through to score from a lineout drive.

Sexton’s drilled conversion restored Leinster’s lead, and the 37-year-old playmaker landed a 56th-minute penalty to leave it 17-13.

McGrath then stole a march on Dave Kilcoyne and Ben Healy to add the third try. Some prolonged Munster pressure failed to produce a score, and the pacy Russell sealed the bonus point with less then three minutes to go.


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Shaylen 8 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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