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Hello and welcome along to The42′s live coverage of what promises to be another epic encounter between these two great foes.

It’s Munster v Leinster in Thomond Park and it doesn’t get much better than this. Sinéad Farrell will be guiding you through the live coverage of this inter-pro tie.

The defending European champions have won each of the last four meetings between the sides but will Munster be able to put a halt to that today?

Stay with us to find out as we look forward to the 5.15 kick-off.

We’ll have the team-line ups for you in the next few minutes as well as any changes to either side before the action begins.

As always, we want you to get involved in the coverage so simply post a comment below or send a Tweet to @Shin_Farrell.

Enjoy the game!

Here’s how Munster are named to line out:

15. Mike Haley
14. Andrew Conway
13. Dan Goggin
12. Rory Scannell
11. Keith Earls
10. Joey Carbery
9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Tadhg Beirne
6. Fineen Wycherley
7. Chris Cloete
8. CJ Stander (captain).


16. Kevin O’Byrne
17. Jeremy Loughman
18. Stephen Archer
19. Billy Holland
20. Arno Botha
21. Alby Mathewson
22. Tyler Bleyendaal
23. Darren Sweetnam. 

And here is the Leinster team that has been named:

15. Jordan Larmour 
14. Dave Kearney 
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Rory O’Loughlin 
11. James Lowe 
10. Johnny Sexton (captain)
9. Luke McGrath

1. Cian Healy 
2. James Tracy 
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Scott Fardy
5. James Ryan 
6. Rhys Ruddock 
7. Josh van der Flier 
8. Jack Conan 


16. Bryan Byrne 
17. Peter Dooley 
18. Michael Bent 
19. Ross Molony
20. Max Deegan 
21. Hugh O’Sullivan 
22. Ciarán Frawley 
23. Noel Reid.

Ryan Bailey is in Thomond Park for The42.

Let us know if you’re heading to Thomond Park!

To get you through the pre-match nerves, have a look at Ryan Bailey’s match preview for this tie.

“Moved from the traditional St Stephen’s Day slot, yesterday’s team announcements confirmed the intentions of both sides in what will be the 36th league meeting of the eastern and southern provinces — and this one has all the ingredients to be a Christmas cracker.

“Sub-plots abound as the big guns return on both sides and Ireland team-mates put friendships aside for 80 minutes of rollicking and passionate inter-pro rugby, in front of what promises to be a febrile crowd of over 26,000 at Munster’s Thomond citadel.

“With so many Irish internationals across both teams, this also represents an opportunity for players to reinforce, or remind, Joe Schmidt of their worth ahead of the start of the Six Nations in February.”

Read more here.

How do you see this game going? Cast your vote now.

Poll Results:

Munster (379)
Leinster (347)
Draw (30)

The arrivals!

Johnny Sexton Johnny Sexton. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Leo Cullen and Johan van Graan before the game Johann van Graan and Leo Cullen in conversation. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

CJ Stander CJ Stander. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

A view of Thomond Park ahead of the game Thomond Park. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

It looks like both sides will line out as named!

We’re about 10 minutes away from the game now. Tune into Eir Sport 1 for live coverage of the game.

Joey Carbery getting in some last minute kicking practise 

Joey Carbery Joey Carbery. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Both sides are heading out to the pitch now. Cian Healy receives a round of applause as he prepares to make his 200th appearance for Leinster.


1 min: Munster 0 Leinster 0

One last-minute change for Leinster as Dave Kearney pulls up in the warm-up and is replaced by Noel Reid.

O’Loughlin shifts to the wing and Conor O’Brien comes onto the bench.

2 mins: Munster 0 Leinster 0

Brilliant start form Leinster as they come thundering forward in search of an early score. James Lowe came close but couldn’t squeeze through.

The referee signals a knock-on and Leinster have been awarded a penalty. 


2 min: Munster 0 Leinster 0

We’re now going to the TMO for a Fineen Wycherley challenge on Johnny Sexton.


3 min: Munster 0 Leinster 0

So the decision is to award a penalty to Munster for Sexton’s reaction to the tackle when he pulled the scrum cap off Wycherley.


4 mins: Munster 0 Leinster 0

That’s an important shift in momentum for Munster. They were under severe pressure in the opening two minutes but they clear the ball away.


6 min: Munster 0 Leinster 0

Leinster awarded a penalty from the scrum. Tadgh Furlong putting in the graft to win the decision. 

And surprisingly, Sexton fails to find touch.


8 mins: Munster 0 Leinster 0

Rory O’Louhglin knocks the ball on and the advantage comes back to Munster. A few early mistakes on both sides as they settle themselves into the tie.

The ball will be a bit greasy after the rain earlier.


11 mins: Munster 0 Leinster 0

We’re still waiting on the opening score of the tie and the action is a bit stop-start. Leinster put in for the scrum and they go on the attack.


14 mins: Munster 0 Leinster 0

Super stuff from Munster to open the space for Keith Earls to storm through.

After making great territory for the hosts, Munster get a penalty which Carbery decides to kick into touch.


16 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 0

Superb work from Chris Cloete to touch down on the back of a maul within minutes of shipping a heavy tackle from Scott Fardy.

Carbery completes the move with a conversion and it’s the dream start for the host side.


17 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 0

Double blow for Leinster as Cian Healy is dismissed to the sin bin shortly after conceding that try.

Not a nice way for him to mark his 200th cap for Leinster.


19 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 0

Encouraging response from Leinster after that try and sin bin with Garry Ringrose providing good leadership to bring them into Munster’s half of the pitch. 


21 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 0

Tempers are flaring in Thomond Park as the players get in each other’s faces. It looks like it might have started from a high challenge by Conor Murray and the referee is summoning the two captains.


23 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 0

Leinster have a penalty and Sexton is kicking for the posts. They’re a man down but Helay’s absence seems to have galvanised them.


23 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 3

And of course he makes no mistake. The gap has been cut to four and Leinster are finally off the mark.


27 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 3

Both sides manage to steal possession and Leinster have the ball again to launch another attack.

It comes out to Conor Murray however and he judges his box kick to perfection to find touch.


29 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 3

Munster doing really well to hold Leinster up as Tadhg Beirne forces Jack Conan to cough up a penalty.

However, their try-scorer Chris Cloete is down receiving treatment after taking a heavy hit.


29 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 3

Tadhg Furlong receives a second yellow card for that tackle on Chloete and that’s Leinster’s second player to go to the bin.

Huge blow for the vistors.


29 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 3

Cloete is now being stretchered off the pitch and Arno Botha is coming in to replace him.


31 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 3

Carbery finds touch to put Munster in another scoreable position.

They work through the phases but Murray fails to find a player with a pass and the ball trickles out over the sideline for a Leinster lineout. 


31 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 3

Another heavy tackle and there’s boos ringing around Thomond Park.

Andrew Conway is on the surface receiving treatment after colliding with James Lowe. The replay shows he landed very badly between his shoulder and neck. 

Flag 32Mins

32 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 3

And James Lowe has been sent off for that challenge. That is a massive blow for Leinster coming up to the half-time break. 


34 mins: Munster 7 Leinster 3

Jordan Larmour intercepts a pass but we’re gonna go back for a Munster penalty and Carbery is going to try and put more points on the board.

Flag 35Mins

35 mins: Munster 10 Leinster 3

No trouble for Carbery as he splits the posts from close range to put Munster in double figures.

Leinster have a big mountain to climb with 13 players, although Furlong will make a return.


36 mins: Munster 10 Leinster 3

Leinster making a change in the final few minutes of the first half. Michael Bent comes in for Rhys Ruddock.


39 mins: Munster 13 Leinster 3

That’s another three points for Munster from a Carbery penalty and they are looking strong as we head towards the halfway point of the game.

Meanwhile, Furlong’s time in the sin bin is over and he’s back on the pitch.

Lots of drama in that first half.

Leinster have suffered two yellow cards and a red which illustrates the tense nature of this tie.

The action has been very disrupted by the flare-ups between the sides and some bad tackling.

Just the one try through Chris Cloete, while Carbery has slotted two penalties to Johnny Sexton’s one.

The story so far

Tempers flare between John Ryan and Jordan Larmour with Jean Kleyn Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

James Lowe is sent off by Referee Frank Murphy Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Mike Haley with Luke McGrath Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

James Ryan and Luke McGrath with Jean Kleyn Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Keith Earls with Jordan Larmour, Josh van der Flier and Luke McGrath Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Both teams are back on the pitch for the second half.

Flag 40Mins

40 mins: Munster 13 Leinster 3

And we go again! The second half is now underway.


43 mins: Munster 13 Leinster 3

Munster get off to a good start as they are awarded a penalty after a number of phases. 


43 mins: Munster 16 Leinster 3

Carbery has been flawless from the tee tonight as he goes four from four and pushes the hosts into a 13-point lead.


45 mins: Munster 16 Leinster 3

Sexton kicks for the corner after Leinster earn a penalty for offside. They badly need to put scores on the board.


50 mins: Munster 16 Leinster 10

Game on! James Tracy burrows over for the try which is confirmed via the TMO and Sexton adds the extras with the conversion.

Despite struggling to really hit their stride, Leinster are right back in this game and only trail by six points with just 14 players. 


55 mins: Munster 16 Leinster 10

Munster go back on the attack again with plenty of pace and good hands. Earls and Conway come agonisingly close to breaking through but Leinster hold firm and regain possession.

This game has certainly picked up since the Tracy try.


56 mins: Munster 16 Leinster 10

Such an important tackle from Mike Haley on Jordan Larmour whose nimble feet are always so dangerous. 

And after all that, Leinster are given a penalty and Sexton sends the ball into touch.

Munster making a change:


63 mins: Munster 16 Leinster 10

Leinster have also made a few changes with Peter Dooley, Bryan Byrne and Ciarán Frawley all coming on for Healy, Tracy and Sexton.


65 mins: Munster 19 Leinster 10

Carbery stretches Munster’s lead once more with another penalty as we head towards the final 10 minutes of this inter-pro clash.


66 mins: Munster 19 Leinster 10

More Munster substitutions: Dan Goggin and Jean Kleyn are replaced by Darren Sweetnam and Billy Holland.


68 mins: Munster 19 Leinster 10

Leinster take the line-out and work the ball out to go through the phases. But Keith Earls does well to push Larmour back a few steps and give his a chance to get their line in order.

They end up with a penalty and Frawley sends the ball into the corner. 


70 mins: Munster 19 Leinster 10

Another Leinster penalty and again Frawley goes for the corner. The visitors are still in the hunt for that second try and are only nine points adrift of Munster.

This game is still very much in the balance.

Flag 74Mins

74 mins: Munster 26 Leinster 10

Well what about that? Surely, that is game over in Thomond Park after Keith Earls gets his timing bang on to intercept the ball and sprint over 80 metres for the try.

Munster were under incredible pressure from Leinster but Earls was rewarded for his patience and he pounced to deliver the killer blow.

Substitute Tyler Bleyendaal kicks the conversion and they’re 16 clear of Leinster now.


77 mins: Munster 26 Leinster 10

Prior to that magical piece of play from Earls, Jeremy Loughman and Tyler Bleyendaal both came on for Dave Kilcoyne and Joey Carbery.


Munster 26 Leinster 17

Leinster deservedly get a consolation try through Max Deegan but it matters very little as Munster close out the game with that breakaway Keith Earls. 

Munster 26 Leinster 17

That’s a big result for Munster, but in truth, it was always on the cards when Leinster punished themselves through their indiscipline.

Two yellow cards and a red card for one of their key players James Lowe left them with just too much of a mountain to climb.

Joey Carbery was immense from the tee and that incredible Keith Earls try was a worthy match-winner. Credit to Leinster though, they managed to stay in the game despite their numerical disadvantage.

Some highlight images from the second half

Keith Earls celebrates scoring their second try Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Josh Van Der Flier, Jordan Larmour and Tadhg Furlong with Andrew Conway and Keith Earls Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Jean Kleyn, John Ryan, Arno Botha with Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Joey Carbery kicks a penalty Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Well that’s all from us folks.

That Munster v Leinster derby won’t go down as a classic but it’s a massive win for the home side. Thanks so much for joining us, we hope you enjoyed the coverage and we hope to have you with us again soon.

Before you go, have a read of Ryan Bailey’s match report here.

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Andy Dunne look back on a memorable year for Irish rugby.

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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