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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of today’s Guinness Pro14 final as Leinster take on Munster in the RDS.

For Leinster, it’s a chance to win a fourth straight Pro14 title, while Munster are looking to end a 10-year trophy drought.

We’ll have live updates throughout the game, which kicks off at 5pm.

Before all that, here’s a reminder of how the two sides will line out today. Leinster have opted to keep faith in some of their Pro14 regulars, with Munster instead going with a full-strength selection. 

Leinster: Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, Rory O’Loughlin, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (captain); 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 (captain), 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)

There’s also plenty of pre-game reading to enjoy on The42 to get you in the mood. Murray Kinsella went down memory lane and took a look at Nathan Spooner’s role in Leinster’s win against Munster back in 2001, which you can find here.

Leo Cullen was up in front of the media yesterday and spoke about where he thinks the game will be won and lost, pointing to the influence of Munster’s Tadhg Beirne and CJ Stander, as well as the importance of how the pair ‘get refereed’ today. You can read what Cullen had to say here.

You can also find our match preview here – this writer has a sneaking suspicion it just might be Munster’s day – as well as a long read covering Devin Toner’s early career, here, as the second row becomes Leinster’ most-capped player of all-time. 

It’s a massive day for this man, too. Munster’s Joey Carbery starts at out-half for just the second time this season having recovered from that long-term ankle issue. He’s played 100 minutes since making his comeback against Cardiff Blues in February.

joey-carbery-during-the-warm-up Munster's Joey Carbery ahead of today's Pro14 final at the RDS. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

3Mins

Leinster get us underway and straight away have a lineout in the Munster 22. Devin Toner collects Rónan Kelleher’s throw and then Robbie Henshaw makes a couple of good carries as Leinster hammer at the Munster line. A Munster player gets pinged for going off feet and Leinster win an early penalty from very kickable range.

Jean Kleyn takes an early bang to the head after colliding with Andrew Porter, but he’s ok to continue. Play resumes with the first scrum of the afternoon, and at the second attempt Leinster launch a bright move down the left wing.

The ball is worked back into a more central position and Kelleher makes good ground before being brought to ground. A promising Leinster attack dies as Rory O’Loughlin’s pass evades Jordan Larmour and sails out of play.

12Mins

It’s all Leinster so far. Leo Cullen’s side launch another attack off the back of a strong lineout maul, and after a couple of carries Leinster win a penalty as Niall Scannell goes off his feet. Byrne is going to go for the posts again, despite the heavy breeze.

14Mins

A chance for Munster to get on the scoreboard as they win a penalty in very kickable range. Johann van Graan’s side put good pressure on Leinster from the restart with Cian Healy shipping a huge hit from Kleyn before red bodies swarmed in. Carbery now has a first shot at the posts. 

17Mins

Munster are growing into the game here. Damian de Allende does really well to force a penalty and get Munster back down the pitch. From the lineout Munster go left to right, and back again, with little reward, before Chris Farrell overcooks a pass and the ball flies beyond Andrew Conway’s fingertips. 

22Mins

A Munster lineout just outside the Leinster 22 leads to a strong maul, from which Conor Murray feeds Keith Earls, who is quickly smothered. Munster move the ball wide with De Allende doing really well to fend off the Leinster tackler, before the ball is turned over.

Leinster kick back to Munster and they go again, with Conway chipping in behind. The chase is good but Hugo Keenan is on hand to gather, and Leinster clear their lines. This is much better from Munster. 

25Mins

That’s great from Josh van der Flier as the Leinster flanker shows superb strength to win a big turnover as Scannell carried into traffic. A bit of a breakdown battle so far.

Leinster try to get their running game going but Jordan Larmour doesn’t have much room to manoeuver down that right wing. Leinster work the ball out to the left instead, but Dave Kearney’s kick in behind is gathered and Conor Murray’s boot eases the pressure for Munster.

26Mins

Leinster are knocking at the door now. They attack the Munster line from the lineout but another loose pass evades Larmour in that left corner. Bit of a let off for Munster. 

29Mins

Mike Adamson calls for a scrum following a knock-on. McGrath launches another Leinster attack with Henshaw making a big carry before Scott Fardy barges towards the try-line. It looks like the Australian is over but Gavin Coombes and CJ Stander do really well to hold him up and prevent the try. Excellent defensive work by the big Munster duo.

30Mins

The latest period of Leinster pressure ends with a Munster penalty as Josh van der Flier is pinged for obstruction. The roars from the Munster players on the pitch signal just how big a moment that is after a great defensive effort.

33Mins

Van der Flier, Keenan and Henshaw combine well to get Leinster back up the pitch but the attack breaks down, with Keith Earls popping up to intervene, and Leinster let another visit to the Munster 22 go begging.

36Mins

Munster win another breakdown penalty and go for the posts, with Conor Murray taking the tee. It’s an ambitious effort from the middle of the pitch, and while Murray has the distance, he sees his kick fly wide. 

40Mins

Another Munster penalty, this time Larmour is judged to have not released even though he feels he wasn’t held in the tackle. Carbery sizes up the posts but it’s not a clean connection and he strikes the right-hand post. 

Carbery levels the scores just before the break. It’s just been penalty after penalty for the last while. Conan the latest to fall foul of Mike Adamson with a high tackle on Murray. Carbery stands over the ball again, but this time the kick is good and he makes it 6-6.

Well then, nothing between the sides at half-time and you imagine Munster will be the happier for that. Van Graan’s side have defended well but Leinster have let three good opportunities go unpunished, enjoying 73% of the territory but only having two penalties to show for it. Not much free-flowing rugby so far, but it’s still been hugely enjoyable, with some of the work around the breakdown absolutely ferocious.

Go get yourself a cup of tea, and we’ll back with all the second-half action shortly.

 

It’s probably a good time to point out that if this game ends in a draw, we’ll have two 10-minute periods of extra-time. Should the scores be level after that, the team who has scored the most tries in the match will get the win.

 

In the event of both sides being tied on points and tries after extra-time, we go to a place kick competition. We can but dream…

The second-half is underway at the RDS. No changes for either side.

49Mins

Leinster pile on the pressure in the early stages of the second half and eventually get their reward. They batter the Munster line and Conan thinks he’s in for a try, but Munster manage to hold him up. Conan is the first point of attack again from the resulting scrum and he’s stopped just short, but Leinster keep the pressure on and Conan eventually manages to power over at the third time of asking. Ross Byrne kicks the extras.

Meanwhile, Peter O’Mahony has just left the action with a leg injury.

54Mins

We’ve had a couple of changes in the last few minutes.

Jack O’Donoghue has replaced Munster captain Peter O’Mahony, while Stephen Archer, Dave Kilcoyne and Kevin O’Byrne have come into the Munster frontrow.

Leinster have brought in Ed Byrne and Tadhg Furlong. Ross Byrne is currently limping around the pitch with Johnny Sexton ready to be introduced.

Archer’s first contribution is to cough up a penalty for collapsing the scrum. Ross Byrne, who was getting treatment on his leg a few minutes ago, drags the kick wide and limps back into position. He surely won’t last much longer.

60Mins

Gavin Coombes wins a penalty after a good tackle on Robbie Henshaw and Munster really needed that. They are doing well to keep Leinster at bay at the moment. 

They also have a couple of fresh faces to contend with now. Johnny Sexton and Ryan Baird have just come in for Ross Byrne and Scott Fardy.

63Mins

Baird wastes no time in making his presence felt by ripping possession back from CJ Stander, before Rhys Ruddock goes charging down the central channel. 

Leinster win a scrum, it collapses, and at the second time of asking Conan picks and drives off the base, but Munster manage to win the ball back. They kick in behind, Keenan, clears, and we have a Munster lineout just inside the Leinster half.

65Mins

Munster go through the phases now but make little ground before Kleyn spills the ball.

We have a short break in play as Sexton gets some treatment to a facial injury. He’s going to depart for a HIA and Ross Byrne is coming back in, despite still limping.

72Mins

A massive passage of play there.

Luke McGrath produces a monster kick off the base of the scrum to pin Munster back on the edge of their own 22. From the lineout, Murray box-kicks but gets no distance on the kick, Conan collects, and breaks into the Munster 22. We eventually go back for a Leinster penalty and Byrne steps up to kick it – despite carrying that leg injury – in a very similar position he missed from earlier.

This time he nails it and Leinster move 10 points clear with 10 minutes left to play.

71Mins

Now then, what have Munster got? Van Graan has decided it’s time for fresh legs and Carbery, Murray and Kleyn all make way for JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey and Billy Holland. 

75Mins

This is pretty demoralising stuff from Munster’s perspective. They just don’t look capable of troubling this Leinster defence at the moment. 

They have five minutes left to come up with something.

76Mins

An error from Casey there as he miscues a kick to touch. Leinster try to be clever at the lineout but James Tracy’s throw to the front is deemed not straight and we go to a scrum.

Johnny Sexton has re-emerged from his HIA but will stay on the bench for the final few minutes.

79Mins

There’s 90 seconds on the clock and having been pinned back in their own 22, Munster have lost possession and are defending desperately as Leinster inch towards the tryline.

Leinster beat Munster 16-6 to win a fourth straight Pro14 title.

So a familiar story as Leinster record their sixth straight win against Munster.

Leinster know how to win these big games but Munster will be bitterly disappointed with their display today. Once Leinster took control at the start of the second half, the result never really looked beyond doubt.

Thanks for joining our live coverage this evening, we’ll have a full report and all the reaction from the RDS shortly.

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