Pro12: Leinster v Munster

Robbie Henshaw makes his debut while Peter O'Mahony returns in hotly anticipated derby

Patrick Madden Sat, Oct 8
LIVE: Pro12: Leinster v Munster

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  • 13:38

    Good afternoon!

    Welcome to our coverage of Leinster against Munster at the Aviva Stadium.

    We might be into the sixth round of the Pro 12 but it is hard to escape the feeling that this weekend is where the rugby season really begins.

    Last night champions Connacht recaptured some of last year's magic to seal a stirring 30-25 win over Ulster at the Sportsground.

    And today the old enemies go toe to toe in Dublin, with a number of big guns entering the fray for the first time.

    So buckle up, it's going to be good.

  • 13:42


    LEINSTER:  R Kearney; R O’Loughlin, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, I Nacewa (capt); J Sexton, L McGrath; C Healy, S Cronin, T Furlong, D Toner, I Nagle, R Ruddock, J Murphy, J Heaslip.  Replacements:  J Tracy, J McGrath, M Ross, R Molony, D Leavy, J Gibson-Park, J Carbery, N Reid.

    MUNSTER:  S Zebo; D Sweetnam, K Earls, R Scannell, R O’Mahony; T Bleyendaal, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, J Ryan, D Ryan, B Holland, P O’Mahony (capt), T O’Donnell, CJ Stander.  Replacements:  D Casey, J Cronin, S Archer, R Copeland, J O’Donoghue, D Williams, I Keatley, J Taute.

  • 13:47

    Both sides are beset by injury problems but Leo Cullen and Rassie Erasmus have been able to field starting XVs with plenty of experience to assist a number of exciting young guns.

    The backrow battle promises to be brutally fascinating, with the returning Peter O'Mahony leading Munster alongside Tommy O'Donnell and CJ Stander. Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy and Jamie Heaslip make for fairly decent opposition.

    Behind the big lumps we get a first glimpse of Robbie Henshaw in a Leinster shirt, after he was deemed surplus to requirements by champions Connacht in the summer.

  • 13:57
    Tommy Burke Was it not Robbie's decision to go to Leinster?
  • 14:00

    Leinster and Munster is one of rugby's great rivalries, and Gerry Thornley has looked back at a derby which at times has been one of the biggest in the world. You can read that HERE.

    And in today's paper Keith Duggan has an extensive interview with Paul O'Connell - how Munster could do with the great man today. You can read that HERE.

  • 14:02
    Just five minutes to go 'til kick off!
  • 14:06
    The teams are out in Dublin. This is going to be brutal.
  • 14:07
  • 14:07
    Bleyendaal has the ball in hand. And we're off!
  • 14:08
    1 min: Bleyendaal goes long from kick off and Ringrose tidies up well and finds a good touch.
  • 14:11
    3 min: Clean lineout ball for Munster and the forwards set about trying to make early inroads but the blue wall is sturdy. The visitors run up 13 phases, but are held inside the Leinster 10-metre. Earls stabs a kick in behind which is cleaned up. Good early possession for Munster, solid Leinster defence.
  • 14:14

    4 min: Leinster lineout on the left and Heaslip claims it well under pressure from O'Mahony. O'Mahony is penalised for pulling Heaslip down in ther air so Leinster have the first chance to put points on the board.

    Sexton from the left, lovely strike. First blood to the hosts.


  • 14:16
    7 min: Stunning rugby. Leinster have the ball on their 22 and a lovely step sees Ringrose break the red line and he hares upfield. He gives it to Sexton infield who switches back out to Nacewa on the wing. The Leinster captain has the line at his mercy but doesn't quite have the legs of old and the covering Zebo hauls him into touch with an excellent tackle.
  • 14:18

    9 min: Sustained pressure on the Munster line from Leinster and eventually the visitors are penalised for not rolling away.

    Sexton to double Leinster's lead from under the sticks, easy.


  • 14:21
    12 min: Munster looking to respond and they make some good inroads, Stander breaking the gainline with a booming carry. It's worked out to Niall Scannell and his grubber is deflected out for a Munster lineout.
  • 14:22
    13 min: Clean Munster ball and they rack up the phases before O'Mahony loses it as he looks to carry. Quick turnover for Leinster and Nacewa finds a good touch.
  • 14:23
    14 min: This is getting frantic. Zebo collects a garryowen brilliantly and Munster have men over on the left but Earls straightens up with two men out wide. Good defence from Leinster and they slow it down before a big Murphy tackle on Stander wins his side a penalty.
  • 14:26
    17 min: Munster scrum on the 22 and Healy is pinged. He was unfortunate there. Munster kick the penalty to halfway and get clean ball off the top again. The move is ended when Kilcoyne spills forward in contact, but Munster have a penalty after a high tackle.
  • 14:29
    20 min: A big carry from Scannell gets Munster into the Leinster 22 after Henshaw is too high with his tackle. They have men over on the right and Bleyendaal trues to engineer something but it's too static and Zebo's pass goes loose. Munster have had the lion's share of ball here but Leinster's defence has been ferocious.
  • 14:30
  • 14:32
    24 min: Bit of indiscipline at the breakdown by Toner and Bleyendaal stitches the penalty deep inside the home 22. Great platform here.
  • 14:34
    25 min: A Munster maul from the lineout is pulled down. With the penalty coming Bleyendaal looks for Zebo in the far corner but it goes loose. The penalty is stuck in the corner. There's a big rumble coming.
  • 14:37

    TRY MUNSTER!!!!!!!!!!  

    To the surprise of absolutely nobody Munster go short with the lineout and set the maul. Red shirts pile in and generate the momentum to get over the Leinster line. The TMO checks and replays show O'Mahony has got the score.

    Great conversion from Bleyendaal.


  • 14:39
    28 min: What a chance for Ringrose. Leinster work the shortside on the Munster 22 and Sexton stabs through a kick for Ringrose, who takes his eye of the ball and knocks it forward with the line at his mercy. Brilliant vision from Sexton, deserved to be finished.  
  • 14:41
    30 min: Big Munster scrum on the five metre but they look to run it and Scannell is held up. Excellent Leinster defence and they have a scrum of their own just short of the Munster five.
  • 14:43
    31 min: Leinster camped on the Munster line, keeping it in the tight and trying to rumble their way over. Crying out for a bit of width.
  • 14:44
    32 min: Leinster nearly slip through via Ringrose but Munster just about hold on. Not particularly savvy play from the hosts and their execution is poor but Munster are penalised again for going in off their feet.
  • 14:46
    33 min: Another Leinster scrum on the visitors's doorstep. McGrath picks with Sexton on the shortside but he snipes himself and looks bound for the line but the referee blocked O'Mahony so we'll go back for another scrum.
  • 14:49

    TRY LEINSTER!!!!!!!!!!

    Quick ball from the scrum and McGrath feeds Sexton on the shortside who shows lovely fluid hands to find Nacewa on the wing and he dives in for the score. Great execution.

    Sexton with a touchline conversion, just pushes it.


  • 14:52
    39 min: Munster with the ball in hand, looking for a response before the break, but they're struggling to gain any real territory and forced into the kick.
  • 14:52
  • 15:05

    Right then, everybody caught their breath?

    The teams are back out for the second half.


  • 15:07
    O'Mahony has lasted 40 minutes on his first start since coming back from injury. Jack O'Donoghue is on.
  • 15:09
    44 min: The second half has started in a similar vein to the first, plenty of ball for Munster but the home defence is solid. Munster moving it both ways but they're very narrow and any ground is being made around the fringes.
  • 15:11
    46 min: 20 phases for Munster and they're camped on Leinster's 22, but the ball is slow and eventually they run out of gas and get penalised.
  • 15:13
    47 min: Solid scrum from Leinster and they're told to use it. McGrath darts to the shortside and Henshaw bursts out of the 22 and finds O'Loughlin on the touchline. He's forced to check back infield and Munster turn the ball over for the first time in the match.
  • 15:16
    48 min: Good linebreak from Stander and Munster have quick, go forward ball in the Leinster 22. Good hands back to the nearside from Bleyendaal and the big lumps force their way up to the Leinster line. It's a bit of a mess and the referee is going to check upstairs to see if the visitors have managed to worm their way over.
  • 15:17
    49 min: No score for Leinster - Niall Scannell penalised for a double movement instead.
  • 15:20
    51 min: Bleyendaal has been quietly efficient today and he shows shades of O'Gara as he collects on the left and switches the play with a brilliant kick to the far corner. Good passage of play for Munster, with O'Donnell making good ground down the left in the previous move.
  • 15:22
    53 min: Leinster scrum in centrefield and McGrath picks and then pins a grubber up to the Munster 22. Smart play.
  • 15:23
    54 min: Leinster pilfer the lineout through new man James Treacy and are in the ascendancy in the Munster 22. Scrambled defence from Munster but they manage to slow it down. Sexton tries a loop in midfield and the ball goes loose but Leinster retain it.
  • 15:25

    TRY LEINSTER!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ringrose makes a good break on the right and shows great strength to battle his way infield and up towards the Munster five. Leinster have men over and simple hands from Sexton and Kearney play in Nacewa who crosses for his second of the match.

    Sexton nails a touchline conversion.


  • 15:27
    58 min: Loose pass from Scannell to new man Jaco Taute and Leinster have a scrum. The Leinster pack absolutely munch Munster and win a penalty. The hosts firmly in the ascendancy.
  • 15:30
    60 min: Leinster go for the corner rather than the posts. the ball is worked left but gets turned over and Munster clear as far as halfway. Lovely from Ringrose, showing snakehips on halfway to engineer space for O'Loughlin on the right.
  • 15:32
    62 min: Good kick from Murray and Kearney is equal to it in the air and then Stander is penalised at the resulting breakdown.
  • 15:34
    64 min: Slick play from Leinster and Sexton sticks another good kick in behind. Nacewa is after it smelling his hat-trick but Zebo gets there first. He taps it back infield and just about gets away with it as Earls slides in to touch it down in goal.
  • 15:35
  • 15:35
    65 min: Leinster scrum on the five. Gibson-Park snipes and gets up to the line. Good Munster defence though and they earn a reprieve as Ross is penalised for coming in from the side.
  • 15:36
  • 15:37
  • 15:40
  • 15:41

    TRY LEINSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And that's all she wrote. A great kick from Henshaw leads to two crucial handling errors from Munster, one from Ronan O'Mahony on his own try line and then another from the covering Bleyendaal, allowing Gibson-Park to pick up the pieces and plop it down.  

    Nacewa converts with Sexton off the field.


  • 15:45
    72 min: Munster have been at their most dangerous today with the ball up their jumper and a good rumble on the far side gets them up to the Leinster line. The ball is held up, Munster scrum.
  • 15:48

    TRY MUNSTER!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good scrum and Munster are camped on the Leinster line, red and blue shirts swamping each breakdown. Finally they move it and simple hands from Bleyendaal to Zebo to Taute sees the Springbok ghost over in the corner.

    Bleyendaal converts.


  • 15:50
    77 min: Sexton has been named man of the match.  
  • 15:52
    79 min: Munster's hopes of sneaking a bonus point are dwindling as Leinster keep the ball on the visitors 22.  
  • 15:53
  • 16:04
  • 16:29

    Right, thanks for joining this afternoon.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekends!