Pro12: Leinster 25-14 Munster

CJ Stander tackles Cian Healy during the first half of the Irish interprovincial derby at the Aviva Stadium
CJ Stander tackles Cian Healy during the first half of the Irish interprovincial derby at the Aviva Stadium
Leinster (11) 25
Tries: Nacewa 2, Gibson-Park Cons: Sexton 2 Pens: Sexton 2
Munster (7) 14
Tries: O'Mahony, Taute Cons: Bleyendaal 2

Leinster moved level on points with Pro12 leaders Ulster by beating Irish interprovincial rivals Munster 25-14 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Isa Nacewa scored two tries for last year's beaten finalists, with Jamison Gibson-Park also touching down.

Man-of-the-match Johnny Sexton added two penalties and two conversions.

Peter O'Mahony marked his first start for Munster since May 2015 by crossing for his side, while replacement Jaco Taute grabbed a late consolation try.

Skipper O'Mahony, who was injured in Ireland's World Cup win over France a year ago, had come on as a replacement in the win over Zebre last weekend.

The match marked Robbie Henshaw's debut for Leinster following his move from Connacht in the summer, the centre having been out of action since sustaining a shoulder injury on Ireland's summer tour of South Africa.

Both sides had won four of their opening five games and it was Leinster who got off to the better start with two Sexton penalties in the first six minutes following infringements by O'Mahony and Rory Scannell.

Nacewa almost crossed for a score in the seventh minute but Simon Zebo produced a tremendous try-scoring tackle to prevent his fellow winger touching down in the corner.

O'Mahony rumbled over for a try after a powerful rolling maul in the 25th minute, referee David Wilkinson awarding the try after consulting with the Television Match Official and Tyler Bleyendaal adding the extras.

Simon Zebo and Rob Kearney challenge for a high ball during the Irish derby
Ireland internationals Simon Zebo and Rob Kearney challenge for a high ball during the Irish derby

Four minutes later, Sexton sent Garry Ringrose away with a perfectly weighted grubber kick, but the centre was unable to collect with the line at his mercy, albeit his cause was not helped by a difficult bounce of the ball.

Five minutes before the interval, Nacewa did manage to cross the whitewash, stretching to score in the corner after Luke McGrath had waited at the base of the scrum, before passing to Sexton, who provided the decisive delivery to the try-scorer.

Sexton was unable to convert but his side still went in four points to the good at the break, 11-7.

After half-time, Munster replacement James Cronin looked to have burrowed over the line at the back of the ruck but the referee ruled that he had executed a double movement.

Nacewa went over for his second try on 55, Ringrose making the initial break and Rob Kearney providing the long pass, which Nacewa collected to score. Sexton's additional two points made it 18-7.

Gibson-Park put further distance between the sides when he placed the ball down after a comedy of errors in defence by Munster - Ronan O'Mahony spilling the ball under pressure from Henshaw, and then Bleyendaal fumbling to set up the opportunity for the Kiwi.

The try was awarded after the TMO took a long look at the footage.

Sexton's conversion put 16 points between the sides and Munster's late try was a mere consolation.

A couple of long passes found Taute in space and with the Leinster defence sucked in, he went over for five points, Bleyendaal converting.

Leinster begin their European Champions Cup campaign by hosting Castres next weekend, while Munster, who now lie fourth in the Pro12 standings, are away to Racing 92.

TEAMS

Leinster: R Kearney; R O'Loughlin, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, I Nacewa (capt); J Sexton, L McGrath; C Healy, S Cronin, T Furlong; D Toner, I Nagle; R Ruddock, J Murphy, J Heaslip.

Replacements: J Tracy, J McGrath, M Ross, R Molony, D Leavy, J Gibson-Park, J Carbery, N Reid.

Munster: S Zebo; D Sweetnam, K Earls, R Scannell, R O'Mahony; T Bleyendaal, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, J Ryan; D Ryan, B Holland; P O'Mahony (capt), T O'Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: D Casey, J Cronin, S Archer, R Copeland, J O'Donoghue, D Williams, I Keatley, J Taute.

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