Leinster hold out for a thrilling 30-21 victory over rivals Munster
Last Updated: 06/10/12 9:41pm
Leinster scored three tries in an explosive 30-21 victory over old rivals Munster in the RaboDirect Pro12 league.
Tries from Richardt Strauss and Peter O'Mahony inside the first six minutes were the opening blows of a rip-roaring encounter.
From an early five-metre scrum Leinster shunted the ball left and Strauss was able to spin out of Donnacha Ryan's tackle to score under the posts.
Munster's reply was superb - Keith Earls roared up the right wing and numbers on the left created the space for O'Mahony to reach over in the corner.
Ronan O'Gara then added two penalties to one from Jonathan Sexton - who nailed six kicks out of eight on the night - to put Munster 11-10 up.
Then Ian Madigan stepped inside Casey Laulala's challenge to slip through for a neatly-taken 21st-minute try, Sexton's conversion make it 17-11, and then a penalty apiece saw Leinster turn around 20-14 up.
A sumptuous penalty strike from Sexton kick-started a key spell from the hosts - Fergus McFadden and Strauss parted the Munster defence and Brian O'Driscoll scrambled his way over in the left corner.
And Munster replacement Damien Varley was yellow-carded just after coming on for an infringement in the build-up to the Leinster try.
That left Munster a mountain to climb but they gave it a real go, pulling a try back as Connor Murray lunged over unopposed following a pack drive and Ian Keatley converted superbly from the touchline to make it a nine-point game.
The Munster forwards looked re-energised, with their scrum making inroads, and Laulala was denied a try by a marginal knock-on call, Leinster holding out from there.