LAST season’s British and Irish Cup finalists Munster made a bright start to the new season when they proved too good for Leinster in yesterday’s A Interprovincial at Donnybrook.
Munster outscored their arch-rivals by three tries to one in a tough encounter that was decided only after a second-half interception from Scott Deasy.
The talented youngster converted that try and another from Troy Smith, who followed Sean Scanlon on to the scoring list in the first half, to help Munster establish a 12-0 lead by the 30th minute.
But Leinster sprung into action and in the 32nd minute Michael Keating took a Brendan Macken inside pass to touch down for Noel Reid to convert and cut the deficit to five points.
At 12-7 the game was in the balance but in the 52nd-minute Deasy broke away on the halfway line and raced clear after fielding an intercept and he also added the points to make it 19-7.
But in the closing quarter Munster asserted their territorial dominance and sealed a 12-point victory that didn’t cut Leinster coach Colin McEntee up too much.
“It was a good competitive game; typical of this time of the season,” he said. “It’s not about the result but how we react to the mistakes we made.”
Munster take on Ulster on Friday in Nenagh as they continue a build-up to the B and I Cup opener against Llanelli Scarlets in Waterford on October 15.
LEINSTER A: D Kearney, A Conway, B Macken, E Sheridan, M Keating, I McKinley, P O’Donohue, J McGrath, J Harris-Wright, B Prescott, M Galarza, T Hogan, S Keogh (captain), B Marshall, P Ryan.
Replacements: N Reid for McKinley (22), R Ruddock for Keogh (h/t), D Hudson for Keating (51), J Cooney for Sheridan (53), R McCormack for McGrath, S Maguire for Prescott, E Sheriff for Hogan (all 55), T Sexton for Marshall (63).
MUNSTER A: S Scanlon; Denis Hurley, I Dineen, T Smith, S Zebo; S Deasy, D Williams; Darragh Hurley, S Henry, S Archer; D Foley (captain), I Nagle; B Holland, T O’Donnell, J Coughlan.
Replacements: P Butler for O’Donnell (h/t), C Murray for Williams (52), A Cotter for Archer (65), D Kilcoyne for Hurley (66), E Maloney for Smith (70), D O’Callaghan for Holland (72), R O’Mahony for Zebo (75), G Burke for Henry (76).
Referee: A Lewis (IRFU).
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