Leinster have won the clash of the Irish in this year's inaugural Celtic League final at Lansdowne Road, overcoming Munster 24-20 in a thrilling encounter. A crowd of over 25,000 turned out to watch Leinster secure this historic victory and they were not disappointed by the rugby on offer from both teams.
Munster dominated most of this match and led 12-6 at half-time thanks to two tries from Anthony Foley and John O'Neill, one of which was converted by Ronan O'Gara. Nathan Spooner kept Leinster in touch with two penalties but when Eric Miller was sent-off by referee Nigel Whitehouse, it looked as if Matt Williams' side would have an uphill battle to take control of the game.
However, despite being reduced to 14 men, they kept their chances alive in the second-half with two more penalties from Spooner after O'Gara had extended his side's advantage to 15-6 with a penalty. Leinster turned the game on its head when Gordon D'Arcy touched down in the 66th minute to give Leinster the lead for the very first time in the encounter and Spooner added to their tally with the conversion, putting them ahead 19-15.
Leinster were now in control and five minutes later Brian O'Driscoll roared forward and looked certain to score a try until he was fouled but Shane Horgan took over to score the try. Although Munster battled hard and Anthony Horgan managed a touchdown in the second minute of injury-time, O'Gara missed the conversion and Munster ran out of time when seconds later Whitehouse blew the final whistle.
Filed by Amanda Fennelly