Tuesday 5 May 2009

A Beautiful Day


Leinster 25-6 Munster

I don't think anybody could have seen this coming. The odds would have been quite long for Leinster to even scrape a win in Croke Park never mind win comfortably. After Gordon D'Arcy's try but the blue man group in front 11-6 at the half hour mark in the first half I was counting the minutes until the full-time whistle.

Only when the man revered as BOD picked off an O'Gara pass at the Leinster 22 and went the length of the pitch to score did I allow myself to celebrate. The monkey was off the back, daemons exorcised etc etc. Saturday was on upset of a scale only rivalled by Leinster's victory over Toulouse in southern France a few years ago.

In front of a packed Croker (this time with a more 60-40 split in favour of Munster) Leinster smashed the Munster pack about the historic stadium for the full 80 minutes. The fields of Athenry enjoyed a rather nervous early rendition in the first half before Molly Malone drowned out a shell-shocked 'Red Army' for the remainder of the tie.

The win was forged in the work upfront by a tireless Leinster pack. Healy and Wright contested well at scrum time, Cullen and O'Kelly easily matched Lions O'Connel and O'Callaghan whilst the Leinster back three of Jennings, Elsom and Heaslip outplayed their counterparts in every facet of the game.

The backs too had a good day at the office. The Mafi-Earls points machine was marshaled well in midfield by the Leinster backs, only one clean break allowed in the entire match. Jonny Sexton filled in admirably for the injured Contepomi and Isa Nacewa was an inspired choice by Leinster coach Michael Cheika at full-back performing much better under the high ball then expected and cutting a vicious line through the Munster defence to set up the opening score.

A commanding performance from a Leinster team that showed what they can do when not overawed by the occasion, their opponents for the final are the Leicester Tigers who will be making a bid for their third title in recent memory.

1 comment:

ed said...

Gimme a B, gimme an O, gimme a D

Must have been epic!