In a game that threatened to boil over on a number of occasions, it will be the Leinster review that will make for more difficult viewing.

Naturally coming out the wrong side of a 26-17 scoreline to your closest rivals is never easy to take, but the manner in which they lost, losing James Lowe to a red card and having Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong forced to spend 10 minutes each in the sin-bin, will give head coach Leo Cullen plenty to mull over.

The hosts outscored their guests three tries to two, but in truth, the difference was the penalty count and Leinster’s ill-discipline.

Johnny Sexton admitted afterwards he had no issues with the three cards brandished to his team-mates – though he did question referee Frank Murphy elsewhere – and for  Munster head coach Johann van Graan, it was a night for cool heads.

Munster players celebrate Keith Earls' second-half try

"That was a real tough game of rugby," he told RTÉ Sport. "Two heavy weights going at each other and I’m glad we came out on the positive side.

"I was really proud of the boys and how we kept our discipline. I said to the guys at half-time, ‘well done for keeping your cool’.

"I’m really proud of a really good 80 minute performance. Leinster are a really quality side and kept fighting until the end of the game."

Lowe was dismissed when full-tilt challenge for a high ball upended the airborne Andrew Conway, who landed on his head. From there, it was a matter of patience, with Keith Earls’ breakaway intercept try in the 73rd minute sealing victory.

"There are a lot of times when a side goes down to 14 men and it gives energy," the South African said. "It certainly did and they stepped up.

"That’s what special players are for…Earlsy made that read with a brilliant try"

"We knew that we had the upper hand and it was about execution. Maybe there were one or two errors in the second half that kept them in the game. That’s what special players are for…Earlsy made that read with a brilliant try."

Van Graan also singled out Chris Cloete’s first-half try courtesy of the rolling maul as a reward for work on the training ground.

"We have been working on that for a few weeks and keeping it for the right time. I thought it was the right time tonight and I’m glad it paid off."

Glasgow Warriors’ surprise home defeat to Edinburgh means Munster move within two points of the Scottish club at the top of Conference A.

There is a lot of rugby to be played between now and the end of the campaign and Van Graan believes fortress Thomond Park will keep his team very much in the hunt for silverware.

"You are going to have ebbs and flows during the season. I’m really proud of our home record. It’s a year since we were beaten here. You can’t control what the other teams do, but we will fight for a play-off spot."