Leinster claimed their fourth Guinness Pro14 title in a row as they dispatched Munster with a minimum of fuss at the RDS.

Bidding to end a 10-year trophy drought, Munster were second-best throughout and once again failed to deliver the required performance to upset the perennial champions.

Jack Conan scored the only try of the game just after the break, while Ross Byrne kicked 11 points.

Two Joey Carbery penalties were all the visitors could offer in return but it was an all too familiar tale as Leinster, for the fourth season in a row, had too much in the tank for their rivals when it mattered.


It may have been a low-scoring first half but the game was played at a high tempo and Munster had a savage work-rate in defence to thank for going in level at the break.

Leinster out-half Byrne slotted penalties in the fourth and 12th minutes with the hosts dominating possession and territory in the early exchanges.

Leo Cullen must have been scratching his head wondering how, for all the play they had, they found themselves just three points up when Carbery landed his first penalty in the 14th minute after a brilliant Jean Kleyn hit on Cian Healy.

Scott Fardy was held up over the line, by Gavin Coombes and CJ Stander, with two other promising Leinster moves coming to nothing after sloppy final passes. 

The defending champions, who finished with 71% territory and 64% possession, broke the line through clever bursts from Ronán Kelleher and Josh van der Flier and last-gasp defending was required to deny the rampaging Robbie Henshaw, carrying his Six Nations form into the contest, a score.

Smart defensive plays by Keith Earls and Peter O'Mahony then provided the platform for Munster to move upfield with Conor Murray and then Carbery missing penalty efforts as Leinster’s indiscipline at the breakdown allowed the visitors to claw their way back. 

Indeed, they drew level with the last kick of the half with Carbery punishing Conan’s high tackle on Murray.

But Leinster began the second half in the same fashion as the first and Porter, first at scrum time and then in the loose, set up another barrage on the Reds line with Conan getting the ball down in the 47th minute.

Byrne converted and there was more bad news for Munster when O’Mahony limped off to be replaced by Jack O’Donoghue. 

Meanwhile Tadhg Furlong replaced Porter and when Stephen Archer was penalised at a ruck, Byrne missed his first shot at goal, which would have handed Leinster had a 10-point lead with 25 minutes to play.

Johnny Sexton replaced Byrne five minutes later but lasted just six minutes before being forced after a stray boot in a ruck drew blood.

Johann van Graan’s side worked their way back into Leinster territory but it was all huff and puff without ever looking likely to cut through the line.

A poor Murray box-kick then allowed man of the match Conan and Rhys Ruddock to make ground and Byrne, who had stepped back onto the field for Sexton, gave the home side the buffer they needed to see out the match.

Leinster: Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, Rory O'Loughlin, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney,  Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan. 

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Ryan Baird, Jamison Gibson-Park, Johnny Sexton,  James Lowe

Munster: Mike Haley,  Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls, Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne, Gavin Coombes, Peter O'Mahony (capt), CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O'Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Jack O'Donoghue, Craig Casey, JJ Hanrahan, Rory Scannell.

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)

Follow Leinster v Toulon (5.30pm, Friday) and Munster v Toulouse (3pm, Saturday) in Champions Cup action via our live blogs on RTE.ie and the RTÉ News app or listen live on RTÉ 2fm's Game On and RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.