Pro14: Leinster v Munster

The two old rivals lock horns for the first time this season under the Aviva Stadium floodlights

Patrick Madden Sat, Oct 6
LIVE: Pro14: Leinster v Munster

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  • Good afternoon!

    Welcome to our coverage of Leinster's Pro14 clash with Munster at the Aviva Stadium (6.0pm kick-off).

    The endless summer is now a distant memory, and there's a distinct crisp hanging in the October air.

    But as the weather gets colder, the rugby season continues to hot up.

    Next weekend, the Heineken Cup gets underway. Today, under the Dublin lights, these two great rivals slug it out for the first time this campaign.

    With one eye on their European opener against Wasps next Friday Leo Cullen has rested some big names - but the home 23 remains a formidable prospect, especially with  Seánie O'Brien back in the saddle.

    Munster meanwhile are fully locked and loaded, with Joey Carbery looking to lead his former employers a merry dance in his rightful number 10 jersey.

    It has the makings of a cracker, and we'll be bringing you all of the action.

    This is where things really get going.

    Come on!!!

  • LEINSTER: Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Rory O’Loughlin, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Jack McGrath, James Tracy, Michael Bent; Devin Toner, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock (Capt), Dan Leavy, Seán O’Brien. Replacements: Seán Cronin, Cian Healy, Andrew Porter, Mick Kearney, Josh van der Flier, Luke McGrath, Noel Reid, Dave Kearney.

    MUNSTER: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Alby Mathewson; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (Capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander. Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Ciaran Parker, Billy Holland, Chris Cloete, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Rory Scannell.

    Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU).

  • Rob Kearney makes his 200th Leinster appearance today. Not a bad effort - and surely plenty more to come.
  • The battle of the 10s is intriguing today. With Johnny Sexton rested Ross Byrne starts at outhalf, with Carbery - the current heir to Sexton's throne - lining out opposite.

    And jockeying to become the successor to Sexton is about to intensify, as Gavin Cummiskey has written this morning. You can read that HERE.

  • 15 mins until kick-off!
  • Away from Dublin the All Blacks are currently staring down the barrel against the Springboks in Pretoria.

    South Africa lead 30-18 after 67 mins, with the chance to secure back-to-back victories over the world champions. Ominous for Ireland a year out from Japan.

  • Munster have enjoyed a mixed - but on the whole positive - start to the season, and currently sit third in Conference A. Leinster meanwhile top Conference B, their sole defeat coming away to the Scarlets in round two.
  • A backrow battle to warm the cockles and make you wince in equal measure is on the cards today. Messrs Ruddock, Leavy and O'Brien meet O'Mahony, O'Donnell and Stander.

    Oh and don't forget the coming together of James Ryan and Tadhg Beirne, who are surely destined to be locking together in green jerseys sooner rather than later. War awaits.

  • Here come the teams at the Aviva. There's a few green seats dotted about but when the last few pints have been knocked back it should be close to heaving.
  • Munster's Joey Carbery has the ball in hand.


  • 1 min: Carbery picks out Lowe in the backfield and he clears well down the left, Earls scampering to cover. The first few collisions follow before Matthewson kicks high to halfway - Lowe fields smartly again, cute offload to Gibson-Park and the hosts are awarded a scrum.
  • 2 min: First scrum for Leinster - butter fingers at the base from O'Brien, Munster ball. He's bound to be a bit rusty.

  • 4 min: Another athletic take from Lowe - he pops it off to Kearney basketball style and the Leinster 15 knocks on. Munster smell blood and move it left, Goggin finding space in behind with a kick where Gibson-Park covers. Forward again from Leinster - a few of handling errors early doors.
  • 5 min: Serious grunt from the Munster pack at scrumtime. They think they've got over but it will be reset on the five.
  • 6 min: Another scrum - Leinster concede a free-kick and get a stern warning.
  • 7 min: Another powerful Munster scrum, good counter from Leinster. Stander tries to bully his way down the shortside and has no joy. Huge turnover from Leinster inside their own five! Gibson-Park clears, the hosts survive for now.
  • 8 min: Munster lineout on the Leinster 10. Clean ball off the top and Goggin carries well. Matthewson kicks high but an assured Kearney calls the mark.
  • 9 min: Munster's intensity has been furious but they make their first mistake and Lowe picks off a pass deep inside his own half. He thunders up to halfway but Carbery makes a vital tackle, clinging onto a tree-trunk leg for dear life.
  • 11 min: Good interplay between Lowe and Leavy and the Ireland backrow surges towards the 22. He finds Gibson-Park on his shoulder who looks back outside for Lowe. Earls is tracking back doggedly and does enough to put the hulking winger off. Lowe is furious and thinks he was impeded. Referee Ben Whitehouse checks with the TMO and they agree!!  


  • 11 min: That infringement from Earls earns him 10 minutes in the bin and gifts Leinster a penalty try. From nothing, the hosts lead by seven.
  • 13 min: The first glimpse from O'Brien, who shows a big hand and pumps the legs to get into the Munster half. Leinster had a penalty advantage after an Archer infringement - Byrne finds a smart touch.
  • 14 min: Leinster win their lineout on the 22 and maul. They have a penalty advantage and run a series of short phases.
  • TRY LEINSTER!!!!!!!!!!


  • Brilliant score. Leinster pick their way infield and then Gibson-Park fires a wicked pass to the shortside, where Lowe tramples over Matthewson and holds off the covering Niall Scannell to touch down in the corner.

    Byrne nails the conversion.


  • 17 min: Munster look for a response taking heavy contact on the Leinster 22, Goggin mincing Leavy with a big carry. It's spilled forward but the visitors had a penalty coming - Carbery stitches it into the corner.
  • 18 min: O'Mahony juggles with the lineout but just about holds on and the maul is set. After a few phases Leavy pilfers it on the deck but there was another penalty coming - Carbery opts for the corner again.
  • 19 min: Munster set the maul and creak their way into the Leinster five.
  • TRY MUNSTER!!!!!!!!!
  • A textbook Munster maul and a pod peel off, with Beirne carried over for the score. Well worked.

    Carbery can't convert from the left.


  • 22 min: The restart picks out try scorer Beirne. Munster take their time and then play their way out down the left, Conway bursting clear but unable to keep his feet after an ankle tap.
  • 24 min: Munster keeping the ball well on halway, moving it nicely and building the phases. Carbery is dictating things smartly - he drops back into the pocket and finds an excellent kick to the left corner.
  • 26 min: Arnold kicks ahead down the right and earns a lineout after it rebounds off the covering Kearney. Munster win the lineout on the 22 and set the maul.
  • 27 min: Wow. Munster really in the ascendancy and Leinster are stretched. Goggin makes an absolutely huge carry, taking a ball from Earls and reaching the line where he's held up by the frantic cover of three blue shirts. Munster five-metre.
  • TRY MUNSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Strong Munster scrum again, it starts to wheel and Stander picks before stretching every sinew to reach for the line and score. There's a bit of handbags after as well. Tries and fighting, what more could you ask for?!

    The ref checks the grounding with the TMO - all good. Carbery converts.


  • 30 min: Apart from their scoring salvo Leinster have been outmatched here. Munster are playing like it's a cup final - everything on the line.

    But they leave a bit too much on the line as O'Donnell is tackled and Gibson-Park latches on over the top. Ross Byrne will go for goal with the penalty - great strike.


  • 34 min: Munster kick down the right and McFadden gets bamboozled by the bounce, allowing Earls to scoop up the scraps. Scrum for the visitors deep inside enemy territory.
  • 36 min: Munster win the scrum but make a hash of the second phase, Beirne knocks on and Leinster have a scrum of their own.
  • 37 min: Messy Leinster scrum but they win the frontrow battle and earn a penalty.
  • Raftery Shout out from Mark in Manila, . PATRICK!
  • 39 min: The final few phases of what's been an absorbing half. Munster in possession and carrying hard inside the Leinster 10.
  • 40 min: Munster get into the Leinster 22 but then Archer throws a careless ball which goes loose. The hosts then force a turnover penalty.
  • 41 min: Having called for half time the ref has allowed Leinster to kick the penalty into touch and take the lineout - they earn another penalty after Munster collapsed the maul.

    This could be a huge three points for Leinster on the stroke of half time - it's inside the Munster 10 out to the right. Fantastic kick.


  • Stunning half of rugby that.
  • The teams are back out for the second half, the floodlights are on and it's crackling.

    We're back underway!!!

  • Cian Healy is on for Jack McGrath.
  • 41 min: Early attacking platform for Leinster with a lineout on the 22. They work it left and the ball goes loose - Earls picks it up and scoots the full length of the pitch to touch down. The whistle had gone though, with the referee awarding a penalty against Arnold for a deliberate knock-on, very harsh.

    Leinster go for the corner.

  • 43 min: Leinster earn another penalty from the lineout - back into the corner.
  • 45 min: Leinster maul form the lineout before starting to build short phases on the Munster five.
  • TRY LEINSTER!!!!!!!
  • That is a remarkable finish. Like his first score, Lowe takes a quick reverse ball from Gibson-Park on the left. He has to check back to take it, before swan diving to touch down one handed as Kleyn clattered across to takle him. Sublime skill and strength.

    Byrne converts again - he's on song tonight.


  • Andrew Porter also on for Michael Bent, who had a tricky evening.
  • 51 min: Munster possession on halfway but they're struggling to make inroads. Carbery sends up a hanging kick which Sweetnam somehow wins - but again the visitors are struggling to make inroads into the Leinster half.
  • 55 min: There's a break in play as the TMO looks at a clearout from James Cronin - no mischief there.

    Munster have a penalty just inside the Leinster half. Carbery will go for goal and catches it beautifully.


  • 57 min: Scrappy passage and Carbery tries to dance out of trouble on the Munster 22 - he gives Sweetnam a bit of a hospital pass and he's scragged into touch.
  • 59 min: Munster on the offensive deep in Leinster territory - Matthewson sniping neatly into the Leinster 22. They have a penalty advantage out on the left - O'Mahony tells Carbery to stick it into the corner.
  • 61 min: Munster win their ball and set the maul, grinding inside. Niall Scannell peels off and nearly ferrets over - red shirts smash away at the blue wall.
  • 62 min: Munster continue to hammer away inside the five. Leinster don't release the man so the visitors have a penalty coming - Carbery swings a wide ball to Earls but he has to check. Back for the penalty - Munster opt for a scrum under the posts!
  • 64 min: This is a huge set piece. The scrum is set and Munster are awarded a penalty. They opt for another scrum.
  • 65 min: Big Munster scrum and Stander nurses the ball excellently at the base. Munster have ANOTHER scrum coming, so they shift it right - Conway is held up agonisingly short.

    It's another penalty for Munster, and another scrum. Another Leinster infringement will surely lead to a penalty try.

  • TRY MUNSTER!!!!!!!
  • Munster get told to use the ball from the scrum so Mathewson picks and opts for the short side, sniping inside O'Loughlin to score.

    Carbery converts. A mammoth finale awaits.


  • 69 min: No sooner have Munster pulled themselves within five points they concede a penalty for obstruction.

    Byrne will go for goal on the 22 out towards the right. Another fine strike.


  • 71 min: Munster lineout on halfway and they move it right off the top. They retain the ball well but it slows down, Mathewson swamped in possession. The visitors hold onto it, though.
  • 73 min: Eventually Munster's spell of possession comes to an end and Leinster clear - the hosts look content to let the opposition hold onto the ball and try and work a way through.

    Carbery nearly manages it with a lovely dancing run from deep - but he gets thumped on halfway.

  • 75 min: Munster ball on the fringes of the Leinster 22 - but again it's too slow and this time Leinster force a huge turnover. Munster running out of time to engineer the two scores they need.
  • 76 min: Leinster form a lineout maul on halfway, eating up a few more precious seconds. They make decent ground but Lowe then knocks on down the shortside.
  • 79 min: Leinster possession on halfway. They're nearly there.
  • Leinster win an epic.
  • Right, thanks for joining today. If these two can keep to that standard then we have a serious season in store.