A strong opening quarter, viagra which included two tries, viagra sent Leinster on their way to a hard fought win over traditional nemesis Munster in Saturday evenings RaboDirect Pro 12 clash at the Aviva Stadium, mind in what truly was an enthralling game.
Both teams entered the game with something to prove. Munster were keen to get a gauge as to where exactly their team stood, with form and consistency lacking during new coach Rob Penney’s opening games. Leinster on the other hand would have been undoubtedly hell bent on atoning for their shambolic display last time out, when they were handed a comprehensive drubbing by Connacht.
Indeed it was Leinster who got out of the gate quickest, with Richardt Strauss going in under the posts after a well-orchestrated set-piece move after four minutes. However Munster hit back almost immediately, with great work from the trio of Keith Earls, Simon Zebo and Casey Laulala enabling Peter O’Mahony to touch down in the corner. Ronan O’Gara failed to add the extras, although he slotted a penalty moments later to send the underdogs into the lead. He and Jonny Sexton then traded penalties as the game began to become somewhat frayed as the relentless opening pace was maintained.
Leinster then began to create a small bit of dominance over their southern counterparts. After a period of sustained and unrelenting pressure, Ian Madigan was found in space and he duly returned Les Bleus to the lead. Leinster also began to assert their superior power in the scrum and this allowed Jonny Sexton to stretch their lead after Munster were once again penalised for infringement. Indeed both Sexton and O’Gara dazzled in the opening half, each giving a fantastic display of tactical and place kicking, and it was the Corkonian who knocked over the final score of the half 5 minutes from the interval, getting his team back into the game after some solid pressure in the Leinster half.
As the second period kicked off it was quite noticeable that the pitch at the Aviva was not holding up too well at all, and this had an impact on the game throughout as the scrum often became sloppy and difficult for the referee to manage. Once again, Leinster were first to rise to the challenge after the restart. After a Sexton penalty, a series of direct attacks resulted in the mercurial Brian O’Driscoll crossing for a try. That put Leinster 16 in front and the Munster comeback effort was hindered greatly as Damien Varley was immediately sin binned following O’Driscoll’s try for indiscipline at the breakdown. With the game looking like it might run away from them, Munster had to do something to give them a fighting chance of nabbing points from the game, and Conor Murray did just that, going over after good traditional pack work. The newly introduced Ian Keatley scored a fantastic conversion to bring an unlikely result within touching distance.
The final ten minutes were frenetic, as curtain calls between these two sides tend to be. Leinster were forced to defend for their lives as Munster piled on pressure to get something out of the game. The reigning European champions stood up to the task however, as Munster were unable to create the spark required to make an opening. Lualala thought he had given his side at least a bonus point, but he was denied by what looked like a fairly marginal knock-on call, and Lenster held on to record a 30-21 victory.
Both teams will now look ahead to the Heineken Cup, but will both be happy at the intensity levels and drive present in what was a valuable pre-tournament tester. Leinster begin their defence with a tough assignment against new boys Exeter, and will no doubt be concerned with the injuries sustained to Brian O’Driscoll and Isa Nacewa, who join an already growing early season casualty list. While Munster were lucky to escape without any major health scares, they will need to lift their guile and concentration if they wish to overcome the cash rich Racing Metro when they travel to Paris next weekend.