Leinster bounce back to reach another Final
PRO14 REPORT: Leinster shrugged off the disappointment of losing their European crown last weekend to beat Irish rivals Munster 24-9 and reach the Final on Saturday.
It was a deserved victory for defending champions Leinster, who lost to Saracens in last Saturday’s European Champions Cup Final, as Sean Cronin and James Lowe scored the two tries of the match.
Ross Byrne, who started at fly-half instead of world player of the year Johnny Sexton, contributed the other 14 points.
Leinster will play Glasgow, 50-20 winners over Ulster on Friday, in the May 25 Final in Glasgow.
The pivotal moment after a hard-fought first period came six minutes into the second-half when Munster’s Niall Scannell was sin-binned and Byrne slotted over the penalty to give Leinster a 12-6 lead.
However, former Leinster star Joey Carbery reduced the deficit five minutes later after Australian veteran Scott Fardy was penalised.
Leinster, though, exploited their one-man advantage and moved 10 points clear in the 55th minute with hooker Cronin touching down. Byrne converted for 19-9.
That was virtually his last contribution as he was withdrawn and replaced by Sexton.
Munster rarely threatened a comeback and it was Leinster who rounded off the match in style as Lowe touched down after fine handling by Rory O’Loughlin although Sexton missed the conversion.
Tries: Cronin, Lowe
Pens: Byrne 4
Pens: Carbery 3
Yellow cards: James Lowe (Leinster, 24), Niall Scannell (Munster, 43)
Leinster: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock (captain), 5 James Ryan, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Seán Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Scott Fardy, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 Rory O’Loughlin.
Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Arno Botha, 7 CJ Stander, 6 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Liam O’Connor, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Dan Goggin.
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Lloyd Linton (Scotland), Keith Allen (Scotland)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)