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Saturday, 1 February, 2003, 17:17 GMT
Where the Celtic Cup was won
The Celtic League final
BBC Sport Interactive's Sean Davies takes a look at the key head-to-head battles that settled the destination of the Celtic Cup.

Mick O'Driscoll / Donncha O'Callaghan v Gareth Llewellyn / Andy Newman

The Neath pairing are two of the most highly regarded in Wales, but they were simply blown aside by the physical Munster locks.

O'Driscoll and O'Callaghan dragged the game Munster's way from the start by fighting tooth and nail for every line-out and restart.

Their athleticism and skill was on another plane.

Peter Stringer v Andy Moore

It may be Stringer's bullet pass that catches the eye, but it was his harrying and pressure that won the day.

Took more on his shoulders after O'Gara's injury and showed excellent appreciation of the wider picture.

Moore is a master tactician, but he couldn't cope with the all-action Stringer and is beginning to look his 34 years.

Ronan O'Gara / Jason Holland v Lee Jarvis

Decision making and playing the percentages - Munster are the masters at it.

O'Gara's restarts, tactical kicking and goal kicking were all exemplary. Standards slipped when Holland moved to fly-half, but he stuck to the game plan and kept his side in the corners.

Jarvis also performed well with the boot, but Quinlan's try from his charged-down grubber late in the first half was a crucial turning point.

The Neath half-backs will protest that they lacked the clean ball supplied to their opposite numbers, but they failed to exert the necessary control.

Alan Quinlan v Brett Sinkinson

Quinlan was everywhere, showing the pace to claim the crucial opening try, but also covering superbly and scrapping for every ball.

Sinkinson's selection was controversial after Steve Tandy's man-of-the-match performance in the semis.

The former Wales international did some good work at the turnover, but looked short of match practice and struggled to get to the action.

John Hayes v Duncan Jones

The front row is a Neath strong point and they looked to target Hayes at the scrum. The odd nudge went their way, but it was nowhere near enough to trouble the Munster men.

Jones prides himself on his athleticism, but he was overshadowed by the Irish tighthead.

Hayes and the rest of the Munster pack hit the breakdown as one. His effort was summed up by an 80th-minute tackle on Neath wing Shane Williams.


The final

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01 Feb 03 | Celtic
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