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Last Updated: Friday, 5 September, 2003, 21:20 GMT 22:20 UK
Henderson World Cup woe
CELTIC LEAGUE
Munster's Rob Henderson toured with the Lions in 2001
Leinster (5) 8
Tries: Burke. Pens: D'Arcy (1).
Munster (3) 15
Pens: Staunton (5). Att: 6,000

Rob Henderson's World Cup hopes are in the balance after the Irish centre was injured in Munster's 15-8 Celtic League win over Leinster at Donnybrook.

The Lions centre departed the field in the first half with an arm injury with Irish team manager Brian O'Brien looking on.

Henderson has been locked in a battle with Ulster centre Jonathan Bell for the final centre spot in the 30-man Irish squad.

Irish coach Eddie O'Sullivan will announce his World Cup squad on Sunday morning and there now will be increased doubts whether Henderson will make the trip.

To make matters worse for O'Sullivan, another World Cup hopeful, Leinster prop Emmett Byrne failed to reappear for the second half because of an arm injury.

Full-back Jeremy Staunton hit all the 15 points as Alan Gaffney's side edged out their Irish rivals in a dour struggle.

The Celtic League champions survived seven minutes of injury-time to hold out for a deserved victory.

Leinster piled on the pressure in the closing minutes after Munster were reduced to 14 players following the sin-binning of prop Simon Kerr.

Five penalties from Staunton did the trick for the champions who made the most of their chances unlike their opponents who missed several kicks.

Leinster led 5-3 at the end of a disjointed first half during which Munster lost Jason Holland with an ankle injury in addition to Henderson.

They moved in front with a superb try after just seven minutes when Matt Leek slung out a long pass which was flicked on by Des Dillon for newcomer Brendan Burke to score out wide.

Staunton missed a couple of kicks before eventually landing a penalty eight minutes before the break.

Four second-half penalties from Staunton meant Munster led 15-5 with four minutes of normal time left although Gordon D'Arcy narrowed the gap with a penalty.


Leinster: Warner, D'arcy, Lewis, Quinlan, Burke, Leek, O'Meara, J. Lyne, G. Hickie, E. Byrne, Cullen, Gissing, McCullen, Gleeson, Dillon.
Replacements: Treston, Blaney, Kearney, Jennings, O'Riordan, Brown, McWeeney.

Munster: Staunton, Payne, Mullins, Henderson, Lawlor, Holland, Reddan, Kerr, Sheahan, Cahill, O'Callaghan, Halvey, Williams, Quinlan, Foley.
Replacements: Blaney, Danaher, Hogan, Leamy, Murphy, Keane, Jones Hughes.

Referee: Paul Adams (Welsh RFU)


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