Leinster beat Munster to win 2021 Pro14 final


Leinster picked up a record sixth consecutive win against Munster to win the 2020/21 Pro14 Championship final.

The Blues put in a dominant display to consign Munster to another demoralising defeat at the RDS Arena.

The win is Leinster’ fourth domestic title in-a-row, as Munster approach a decade since their 2011 trophy win.

Leinster’s Luke McGrath celebrates as Jack Conan scores a try. Guinness PRO14 Final, RDS Main Arena, Dublin 27/3/2021. Pic: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Leinster started in ideal fashion, pushing Conor Murray into touch for an early lineout.

The Blues’ pace of play presented Munster with a series of problems from the start, and Peter O’Mahony was soon penalised, allowing Ross Byrne to put Leinster on the board for 3-0.

The blue wave continued and Rory O’Loughlin almost put Jordan Larmour in for an early try but the Leinster wing missed the ball altogether.

Leinster Munster match report
Leinster’s Ronan Kelleher and John Ryan of Munster. Guinness PRO14 Final, RDS Main Arena, Dublin 27/3/2021. Pic: INPHO/James Crombie

Byrne soon made it 6-0 after more ill-discipline from Munster but a Rhys Ruddock mistake at the breakdown allowed Munster the chance to get into the game. Carbery secured the  three points from the tee.

The big breaks kept on coming, with Ronan Kelleher and Larmour both breaking Munster’s defensive line to great effect. However Munster managed to hold out on both occasions.

Leinster thought they had a try when Scott Fardy went over the whitewash but the defensive intervention of Gavin Coombes and CJ Stander managed to hold the ball-up.

Leinster Munster match report
27 March 2021; Leinster players Jordan Larmour and Josh van der Flier claim a try is scored by team-mate Scott Fardy as referee Mike Adamson signals that the ball is held up during the Guinness PRO14 Final match between Leinster and Munster at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Munster had two opportunities to level things up from the tee late in the first half. Conor Murray’s 53m effort couldn’t reach the intended target before Carbery clipped one off the post.

An untimely high-tackle from Jack Conan gave the Reds one last crack at the posts and Carbery made no mistake for six apiece.

Leinster’s pace through the phases continued to trouble Munster upon the restart and Jack Conan was held up beyond the goal-line.

Leinster Munster match report
Jack Conan of Leinster is tackled by CJ Stander of Munster during the Guinness PRO14 Final match between Leinster and Munster at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

But Conan soon got another bite at the cherry and made it count as they punished Munster for their lack of possession.

Conan peeled from the back of the five-metre scrum and drove for the try-line.

Munster were able to resist his initial attempt but the pressure became too much for Johann van Graan’s side. Ross Byrne added the extras for 13-6.

Peter O’Mahony limped off following the play and was replaced by Jack O’Donoghue, as van Graan also changed his front-row in order to galvanise his side. Leinster responded with the introduction of Tadhg Furlong and Ed Byrne.

Leinster’s scrum dominance was instant, with Stephen Archer unable to cope with the pressure applied by his opposite loosehead. Another penalty followed but Ross Byrne couldn’t make it count.

Munster finally found some respite when Gavin Coombes got in over the ball at the breakdown for a fine jackal turnover. Johnny Sexton was brought into the fray soon after.

Leinster’s Cian Healy is tackled by Gavin Coombes and Jean Kleyn of Munster
Guinness PRO14 Final, RDS Main Arena, Dublin. Pic: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

But it was the intervention of replacement lock Ryan Baird that eased any concerns for Leinster. The tyro stripped possession from the grasp of CJ Stander to kill any Munster momentum.

Munster didn’t give up, and tallied up the phases as Johnny Sexton was removed for a HIA after contact with Kilcoyne.

Ultimately, Munster were punished again for sloppy play and Ross Byrne struck another penalty from the tee to put daylight between the two teams at 16-6. Craig Casey and JJ Hanrahan were introduced with 10 minutes to go.

But the Blues rarely looked threatened to see out another high profile win against their historic rivals and secure another domestic crown under Leo Cullen.





Source link

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*