Rassie Erasmus savoured a sweet St Stephen's Day slaying of Leinster before immediately turning his attentions to "a hell of a challenge" out west and another blockbusting festive derby.

Munster rolled over Leo Cullen's men in a power-packed performance at a heaving Thomond Park on Monday evening. 

Simon Zebo, Ronan O'Mahony, Tommy O'Donnell and CJ Stander all crossed the whitewash to earn a bonus-point victory that pushed the home team five points clear at the summit of the Pro12 table. 

It gave Munster some well-deserved bragging rights, but there's no rest for the wicked, with Connacht up next at the Sportsground on New Year's Eve (5.30pm).

“It’s a quality side that we’ve beaten," Erasmus told RTÉ Sport after the defeat of Leinster. 

"We can’t take away the fact that they had to rest a few players.

"But still they’ve got quality players from 1 to, I think, 43 in this squad so it’s still a pleasing win and I thought it was a really intense game there for the first 50, 60 minutes. We’re glad to have the win.

“It will be so tough [travelling to Connacht]. They’re very tough to play there. They’ll have an eight-day turnaround, we’ll have a five-day turnaround and we’ll rest a few of our international guys.

"We’ve got two or three juries. It will be a hell of a challenge."

When you play a quality side like Leinster you don’t have the luxury of trying to take the foot off the pedal

Munster had Monday's derby showdown by the scruff of the neck throughout but it was a third-quarter surge that put the contest to bed.

Their intensity never let up, something Erasmus put down to his team's respect for the calibre of the opposition.

“When you play a quality side like Leinster you don’t have the luxury of trying to take the foot off the pedal," he added.

"It’s more respect and kudos to Leinster that if you take your foot off the pedal you’ll just lose the second half.

“It was a tense atmosphere which we enjoyed and obviously it was great that the crowd, most of them, were on our side.

“I’m not just saying it to sound nice, what Leinster were doing in coming here and the intensity they played with, the spirit the game was played in, I think that’s what makes great derbies."

Listen to live coverage of Leinster v Ulster (KO 3pm) and Connacht v Munster at the Sportsground (KO 5.30pm) exclusively on RTÉ Radio One’s Saturday Sport.