Friends Reunited

The crimson meets the blue: nine moments from the Munster-Leinster rivalry

As Leinster prepare to travel to Thomond Park to face old foes Munster this weekend, Paul Ring pauses and engages with some of the rivalry’s most memorable moments.

EPIC HITS, THRASH talking worthy of the WWE and the odd bit of rugby. It’s Munster v Leinster on Saturday night. There have been some highlights…

9. Sexton says hello

Is anyone buying the truce between Ronan O’Gara and Jonathan Sexton? Their embrace at the end of the Scotland and England games had a distinct Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson feel to it. Here’s young Jonny politely asking Rodge “What’s the score?” after Leinster touchdown in their epic Heineken cup semi-final win in 2009.

8. 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.

7. 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.

6. 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, Munster vanquished. They have yet to recover.

5. 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…

4. 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?

3. Justin Credible

It has been found. The footage is grainy to say the least but here is the proof that Munster did in fact once score a try against Leinster in the Magners League. Impress your friends Saturday night, the last Munster player to score a try against Leinster? Justin Melck. You knew? Oh….

2. 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.

1. Wallace puts his foot in it

This one isn’t on the field. Until the IRB mike up the players so we can hear the thrash talking we will have to make do with this gem of foot in mouth. Munster man and former Leinster player Paul Wallace says something that might be seen as a little touchy in Buenos Aires. Will Greenwoods face screams “Did he just say that?”

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