/ Rugby

Munster 6-25 Leinster - As It Happened

Updated: Saturday, 02 May 2009 21:36

Brian O'Driscoll was named man of the match as Leinster swept past Munster at Croke Park to qualify for the final of this season's Heineken Cup
Brian O'Driscoll was named man of the match as Leinster swept past Munster at Croke Park to qualify for the final of this season's Heineken Cup

Leinster have easily beaten Munster at Croke Park to qualify for the final of this year's Heineken Cup. Read Ed Leahy's Matchtracker below.

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19.25 Well done BOD and the Guys - that's me off home to watch the second half of El Classico - go on Barca...!!

19.22 It's all over - Leinster are off to Edinburgh for the final and will face the winners of Cardiff -v- Leicester. Leinster v Leicester a commentator's nightmare.

19.19 - Countdown by the crowd as the clock turns from green to red. Another shot of Shane Byrne - actually it is a bit tight, the jersey - as Cullen gets attention on the floor. He walks off to an ovation as Leinster have this one in the bag. Munster playing for the scoreboard now.

19.18 BOD has been the shiny-est of players in the northern hemisphere for years according to the SS commentator. A veritable northern star, one might say...

19.16 Four minutes to go - this one is all over. It's going to be a late one in Kiely's - Probably!! BOD named MOTM.

19.14 ROG kicks to touch for line-out but Leinster win possession to emphasise their superiority. Sexton kicks to touch and Leinster look like they have Contepomi's replacement for next season already in place.

19.11 Munster pressure from line-out on five metre line. They need something very quick if they are to have any chance here. Mafi nearly sneaks in but is pulled down with two metres to go. And then...Leinster turnover on the try line and clear. Ref gives a penalty to give the Munster boys another chance.

19.10 Flannery puts a bit of a burst in but is held up on the 22. Munster not giving up, even if their supporters have.

19.08 TV director getting plenty of mileage from the sour looking Munster fans in the crowd. It's all gone quiet in Croker.

19.06 Shocking drop-goal effort from Sexton - if he was playing golf, it would be in the thick rough.

19.05 John Hayes goes off to a huge round of applause from all sections. Such sportsmen those Leinster guys!!

19.02 Great close up of a curly-wurly Leinster fan celebrating while a young Munster girl hides behind her Jackie O sunglasses and prays for a miracle.

19.00 Warwick bursts into life to set up a Munster attack. O'Connell drives into the 22. Earls and Mafi try and fail to break the Leinster back line. Munster cannot get any joy as Leinster hold firm to win the penalty.

18.59 CONVERSION LEINSTER Easy for Sexton

18.58 TRY LEINSTER BOD intercepts and runs the length of the pitch to score. That could be it for the champions.

18.57 It's all Munster at the moment as O'Connell leads from the front. Mafi breaks through but then a loose O'Gara pass finds...

18.54 Close up of Dowling getting gouged by a Munster glove - all fingers point to Quinlan. Not spotted by the ref. Fitzgerald helped off the pitch - injured. Looks like a bad one as he is half-carried down the tunnel. Lions tour in doubt perhaps.

18.52 Ball played (forward??) to Howlett who is stopped just short of the try line - awesome tackle by Nacewa. Great Munster pressure maintained by Mafi, Stringer, Dowling and ROG. No way through as ref has to stop play. Munster get the call and win put-in.

18.50 Munster attack once again held up by the Leinster defence. Memories of the quarter-final against Quins as Leinster hold firm.

18.46 Munster line-out feeds Mafi but Leinster hold on edge of 22. Wallace next to try to get through followed by O'Callaghan. Leinster turnover and Sexton breaks. Stopped on halfway and ROG nudges him into touch. More than a nudge say the Leinster boys and so does the TV cameras. Sexton needs attention as the game goes on. Bad loser Mr ROG?? Just spotted the replay - didn't look too bad really. Ooops!!

18.42 Munster kick over the top but some clever play by Fitzgerald sees the ball go dead and play goes way back up the field.

18.37 CONVERSION Great kick by Sexton to claim the bonus. Great shot of the Mullet man, Billy Ray Cyrus wannabee Shane Byrne celebrating in his Leinster jersey. Still fits as well, impressive.

18.36 TRY LEINSTER BOD bursts through to put pressure on the Munster backs. Ball goes wide to Fitzgerald from Horgan and a tidy sidestep sends him over the line to score.

18.34 And we're back.

HALF-TIME: MUNSTER 6-11 LEINSTER

18.21 Last possession of the half and Sexton goes up and under for Horgan who catches impressively. Munster turnover and Stringer kicks over his shoulder to touch and to the sound of the half-time whistle.

18.18 Warwick forced to clear to touch after another Leinster kick into a dangerous area. Contepomi takes his place on the bench with the aid of crutches. Looks like his season could be over.

18.17 Return of the BOD. Dempsey's appearance fee secured for his thirty odd seconds on the pitch.

18.16 BOD replaced by Dempsey for attention.

18.16 PENALTY MUNSTER Too easy for ROG to close the gap to five with half-time approaching.

18.15 Elsom tuggs on Howlett as the All Black kicks ahead. Penalty to Munster to give ROG another kickable chance from about 35 metres.

18.13 Eight phases of Munster attack eventually thwarted by Elsom and Leinster clear to half-way.

18.11 Sexton strikes the ball well but just wide to miss out on the two points.

18.09 TRY LEINSTER Great workl in midfiled by BOD to releaese Nacewa who feeds D'Arcy on the 22. Momentum takes Gordo over the line to score.

18.07 Sexton chips across, O'Garaesque, and Fitzgerald catches and spins in mid air to maintain pressure. Munster eventually clear thanks to Warwick who finds touch on the half-way line.

18.06 It's all Leinster at the moment. Playing with 14 seems to suit. Healy comes back on as Leinster have line-out ball inside the Munster 22.

18.05 PENALTY LEINSTER Sexton walks off the subs' bench to strike a great penalty with his first touch. Felipe who??

18.03 Trouble for Leinster as Contepomi hobbles off with a bad case of knee-knock. Looked like he jarred the knee as he tried to change direction. Sexton on in his place.

18.00 Elsom bursts through after Horgan makes a hole for him in the line. Great tackle by Warwick prevents a certain try.

17.56 Munster conceed a penalty on the halfway line and Leinster kick to touch for the line-out. Better by Jackman as Leinster fo on the attack. BOD stopped just short of the five-metre line but maintain possession. Munster stand firm and some great defensive work by ROG, yes O'Gara, forces the penalty. ROG clears to the half-way line for a Munster line-out.

17.53 PENALTY MUNSTER - No probs for the ROG. All-square.

17.52 Cian Helay off to the sin bin for taking Dowling out after the Munster winger kicked through. Leaves Munster with a very kickable penalty.

17.50 DROP-GOAL LEINSTER Scrappy throw in but Leinster gather and feed Contepomi who pops over a drop-kick to settle the nerves and give Leinster the first points of the semi-final.

17.48 Contepomi kicks and collects in midfield. BOD kicks through for Fitzgerald to chase and forces a line-out inside the 22.

17.43 Great kick by Nacewa finds touch and Leinster eventually win line-out on Munster 22. Munster clear and Earls burst through thanks to a great pass by Mafi. Earls steams across 22 only to be stopped just short of the line. Elsom makes very important tackle to stop the pressure with a huge hit on Dowling

17.40 Munster turnover on the halfway line and stand-in scrum-half Stringer bursts clear backed up by Lions captain Paul O'Connell. Leinster stop the charge but pay the price as three players require attention. First scent of fisticuffs - ref tries to nip it in the bud talking to captains. We'll see.

17.38 Munster's first attack into Leinster territory after a well worked line-out. Leinster hold firm and win possession. Leinster clear lines and win line-out on half-way line.

17.36 A tame effort from the Argentina international drifts right and wide. Aubible mocking from the Munster contingent.

17.35 Leamy very slow to roll away and Leinster win a penalty just inside the Munster half. Contepomi to kick at goal.

17.33 Leinster kick-off and force an early line-out. Ball goes out the line but ball is lost to Munster. O'Gara tries first chip through of the game but gives possession back to Leinster.

17.31 A moment of silence to remember former Irish rugby great Karl Mullen - impeccably observed throughout.

17.24 Sky Sports just finish their big match preview and move swiftly to the match commentator after a dodgy Belgrano comment in the studio - didn't quite hear it myself but probably aimed at Contepomi, I'm thinking.

17.10 Twenty minutes to kick-off now and the weather in Dublin is cloudy with the odd burst of sunshine breaking through every few minutes. A pre-match stroll through the Leinster heartland of Donnybrook has revealed a band of blues brothers marching towards Kielys - probably.

A few stray Munster fans are also in the area and looking moody while sucking down a pre-match fag outside the aforementioned tavern.

82,300 fans are expected inside the ground for the big game and my esteemed colleague Shane Murray has informed me that that is a world record for a club game, and the dude on Sky Sports has just confirmed it. Get on to Amazon now before the game starts and order your copy of this year's Guinness publication.

Munster:
P Warwick, D Howlett, K Earls, L Mafi, I Dowling, P Stringer, R O'Gara, M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell (capt, A Quinlan, D Wallace, D Leamy.

Replacements: D Fogarty, T Buckley, M O'Driscoll, N Ronan, M Prendergast, B Murphy, D Hurley

Leinster:
I Nacewa, S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, G D'Arcy, L Fitzgerald, F Contepomi, C Whitaker, C Healy, B Jackman, S Wright, L Cullen (capt), M O'Kelly, R Elsom, S Jennings, J Heaslip.

Replacements: J Fogarty, R McCormack, D Toner, S O'Brien, S Keogh, J Sexton, G Dempsey.