Close quarters
Here are 7 of our favourite Leinster-Munster memories to get you in the mood for tonight
What better way to draw a line under Ireland’s World Cup than for 18 of the squad to face off at a packed Aviva Stadium?

IT’S ALMOST TIME to head for the door. And it’s only the small matter of Leinster v Munster at sold-out Aviva Stadium tonight.

We’ve been here before…

7. Sexton says hello

Is anyone buying the truce between Ronan O’Gara and Jonathan Sexton? Here’s young Jonny politely asking Rodge “What’s the score?” after Leinster touchdown in their epic Heineken cup semi-final win in 2009.

6. Rodge and the hand-off

Malcolm O’Kelly look away now. A sea of red engulfed Lansdowne road in 2006 for another Heineken Cup semi-final. Munster were much the better side but struggled to fully seal the win until Rodge swatted aside the big-second row, hurdled the advertising boarding and sent the Munster men to Cardiff. Ligind.

5. Flight of the Earls

Bad enough for a second row to be handed off by a puny fly half but a monster prop against a winger? No contest surely. When Cian Healy found himself with Keith Earls and a sideline fast approaching he must have fancied his chances. Watch for his reflective moment after.

4. BOD is God

O’Gara to O’Driscoll. Try. But not in green. BOD finishes any lingering hopes of a Munster fight back when he pounces on a pass meant for Paul O’Connell and speeds to the line.

Rodge chases manfully but in truth BOD could have done a Usain Bolt as he approached the line. Game over.

3. Rocky VI

A blur of barnstorming runs, bone crunching tackles and subtle offloads. Rocky Elsom was nothing short of a force of nature in Leinster’s march to European glory in 2009. Watch as first a slashing break from Keith Earls is halted, before Rocky minces Ian Dowling and prevents a certain try. About a mile offside mind…

2. Didn’t you play for South Africa?

Jean De Villers arrived in Munster with a big reputation and a bigger wage packet. Finally the men in a red had a centre that could live with the best. Or maybe not. Here Drico dishes out the harshest of lessons to the Springbok in front of a ravenous RDS crowd.  Maybe he was jet lagged?

1. Heaslip brings snot-bubble hits to the provinces

Poor Rodge. He is constantly targeted by the opposition as a defensive weak spot. You would think that Irish team mate Jamie Heaslip would merely take the ball into contact and recycle.

One look up at O’Gara though and the number eight slams right into him. The NFL calls this a snot-bubble hit, credit to Rodge at the end of the day for getting back up.

What have we forgotten?

A version of this article first appeared here

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