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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 April 2006, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Leinster 6-30 Munster
Paul O'Connell (centre) had an outstanding game for Munster
Leinster (3) 6
Pens: Contepomi 2
Munster (16) 30
Tries: Leamy, O'Gara, Halstead
Cons: O'Gara 3
Pens: O'Gara 3
Munster set up a Heineken Cup decider against Biarritz by overpowering Leinster at Lansdowne Road.

Ronan O'Gara's early penalty and Denis Leamy's ninth-minute try set the tone for Munster's domination.

An off-form Felipe Contepomi replied for Leinster but two O'Gara penalty kicks extended Munster's lead to 16-3.

Munster retained their stranglehold after the break and, after a Contepomi penalty, O'Gara and Trevor Halstead added late tries for the men in red.

Aided by a stiff breeze, Declan Kidney's side started in typically rampaging fashion with Malcolm O'Kelly's failure to gather O'Gara's kick-off putting the Leinster defence under immediate pressure.

The early Munster attacks yielded a second-minute penalty which O'Gara slotted to put his side ahead.

As Munster continued to dominate, they earned another kickable penalty in the ninth minute but O'Gara opted for the corner.

It proved an inspired decision as the outstanding Paul O'Connell's soaring take in the line-out set up Denis Leamy to drive over the Leinster line.

O'Gara's brilliant start continued as he knocked over the conversion to extend Munster's lead to 10-0.

Leinster finally broke out of their own half in the 13th minute with Denis Hickie trying to repeat his breakaway heroics in Toulouse but Shaun Payne's tackle was just enough to force him into touch.

There are guys on the Leinster team I would have died for a couple of months ago
Paul O'Connell
Munster

Contepomi, who was having a decidedly nervous first half, finally opened Leinster's account in the 20th minute but two more O'Gara penalties over the next eight minutes extended Munster's lead to 16-3.

The Argentine had needlessly conceded one of those O'Gara penalties and the Leinster fly-half's nightmare opening period continued when he missed a simple penalty in the 30th minute.

O'Gara missed a chance to extend Munster's lead in first half injury-time but it still looked a long way back for Leinster as they trailed by 16-3 at the interval.

After a scrappy start to the second half, Contepomi had a chance to reduce Munster's advantage but his 40-metre penalty came back off an upright.

As the second half wore on, Munster continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession and Leinster's few attacks lacked the potency that they had displayed in Toulouse.

Contepomi's 68th minute penalty reduced Munster's lead to 10 points but, in truth, a Leinster comeback was never on the cards.

Munster prop Federico Pucciariello was sin-binned six minutes from time but Contepomi failed to punish the indiscretion as he missed the kickable penalty.

With Leinster's resolve long gone, the superb O'Gara was able to scamper over for a try unopposed three minutes from time.

And in injury-time, Trevor Halstead barely had to get out of second-gear to run all the way from his own half to score another Munster touchdown after an interception.


Leinster: Dempsey; Horgan, O'Driscoll (capt), D'Arcy, Hickie; Contepomi, Easterby; Corrigan, B Blaney, Green; Williams, O'Kelly; Jowitt, Gleeson, Heaslip.
Replacements (from): D Blaney, McCormack, Byrne, Ronan, Miller, O'Riordan, Lewis, Kearney.

Munster: Payne; Horgan, Kelly, Halstead, Dowling; O'Gara, Stringer; Pucciariello, Flannery, Hayes; O'Callaghan, O'Connell; Leamy, Wallace, Foley (cpt).
Replacements: Fogarty, Roche, M O'Driscoll, Keogh, Manning, Henderson, O'Leary.

Referee: Joel Jutge (France)




SEE ALSO
Leinster 30-22 Scarlets
14 Apr 06 |  Irish
Munster 36-15 Edinburgh
15 Apr 06 |  European Club
Toulouse 35-41 Leinster
01 Apr 06 |  European Club
Munster 19-10 Perpignan
01 Apr 06 |  European Club


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