Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Friday, May 01, 2009

Munster vs Leinster - Heineken Cup Semi Preview - The Rivalry

The two Irish provincial heavyweights go into battle on Saturday in the Semi Final of the Heineken Cup at Croke Park. Munster against Leinster will produce a sell-out crowd as the two rivals vie for glory and a place in the final.

A record for a club rugby match, 82 000 fans will be on hand to witness what should be yet another epic contest in the history of the tournament, and more specifically, between these two powerhouses.

The champions, Munster, will probably be favourites with their recent form and will look to clinch their third title in four years, an amazing achievement if it happens.

Leinster won’t be phased though, as they boast some of the games finest players in Brian O’Driscoll, Felipe Contepomi, and Rocky Elsom.

"Each team pretty much knows what to expect from the other, but the whole of Ireland will quite rightly regard us as the underdogs," says Leinster Flanker Shane Jennings.

"We have a massive task ahead of us in taking on the champions of Europe, and playing in Dublin is no great advantage to us either.

"The majority of the Munster boys know Croke Park well and have been successful there, so it is of no additional benefit for us."

This video shows the intensity and rivalry between the two great sides as the excitement and tension builds ahead of the big match.

It promises to be yet another Heineken Cup classic. Kick off is at 17:30 local time.

Anyone fancy a crack at the outcome? Winner and final score according to you.

Time: 03:23



  • I hate O'Callaghan so much!!!! I can't believe he's with the Lions

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 12:25 am  

  • I bet the anonymous above is scottish , lol they only got two players in the lions .... Just goes to show Wales and Ireland dominate in europe

    By Anonymous jacobo, at May 02, 2009 12:29 am  

  • Have my tickets for the match, can't wait.

    Munster are certainly better on paper but when did that decide a match?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 12:51 am  

  • Cmon the boys in red!!!
    arrgh and all the cliches and whatnot
    im so obviously a munster man but i wanna know who the neutrals are rooting for?

    So guys....

    who ye rooting for!?!?!?

    By Anonymous Obviously a munsterman, at May 02, 2009 1:05 am  

  • I'm a neutral (from france) and I'll go for Leinster although Munster are the clear favorites.
    But Leinster's style of play is much more entertaining and beautiful so it has to pay off or the message to european rugby will be that pick and go is definitely the thing that wins matches.
    Two great teams though, a cracker to be i reckon

    By Anonymous Georges, at May 02, 2009 1:11 am  

  • Munster.


    By Blogger Madflyhalf, at May 02, 2009 1:16 am  

  • "I bet the anonymous above is scottish , lol they only got two players in the lions .... Just goes to show Wales and Ireland dominate in europe"
    You've just lose a bet.
    I'm a "neutral" but I like Munster

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 1:35 am  

  • leinster to win with about 3 points :)

    By Anonymous opfazonk, at May 02, 2009 1:44 am  

  • all comes down to whether contepomi can keep his head...if hes on form,and the munster forwards dont get at him im backing leinster.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 2:48 am  

  • Last time many considered Leinster favourites and Munster shoved it up their holes. This time Munster are clear and outright favourites....

    You really never can tell though but the safe money is defo on Munster as they defo have the better pack and with that they can control the game...However if leinster win just 35% of possession they have the tools in the backline to expose them..

    My prediction- 18 16 in favour of Munster.But I hope Leinster pull it off.

    By Anonymous themull, at May 02, 2009 2:50 am  

  • go on munster!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 3:18 am  

  • As a neutral, i hope leinster winds, munster is probably the team to beat in this H cup so it would be great

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 3:34 am  

  • Flannery would look much tougher with short hair, instead of that ugly hairstyle...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 4:53 am  

  • I love the fact that twice last year Connacht managed to get one over on both of these sides...but that's off topic.

    As a 'neutral', I don't really care who wins. If it's Munster, that means it must've been a good rugby match, but if Leinster win, that means it must've been a great match...

    But I guess this means I can't come back to this site now for a few days for fear of seeing who won - since I never get to see these matches until a day or two after they play.

    By Anonymous tayto, at May 02, 2009 5:40 am  

  • who ever wins its sure to be a boring match they might as well play 60 mins because you wont see the ball for the last 20 mins

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 8:21 am  

  • ^ how do you figure?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 9:01 am  

  • ^ how do you figure?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 9:01 am  

  • majority of ireland reckon munster will do it lads

    By Anonymous bD, at May 02, 2009 9:38 am  

  • least there is something to look forward to tigers against blues on sunday

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 10:33 am  

  • I'd love Leinster to win, but I'm 90% certain Munster will go on to win another HC. Just hope it's a cracking game!

    By Anonymous toppsy, at May 02, 2009 12:09 pm  

  • So many 'anonymous' yellow belly comments, 'hate O Callaghan', 'sure to be a boring match', 'least there is something to look forward to tigers against blues on sunday' - grow up ffs! Im looking forward to an entertaining match, and will be roaring for whatever irish team reaches the final! Best of luck to both teams and hope to see Connaught and Ulster-(again) challenging for HC in the future!

    P.s. dont slate us (Connaught) we are only considered a development team and dont even get half the funding of other provinces - hope this changes.

    Eire abu!

    By Anonymous Connaught Tom, at May 02, 2009 12:24 pm  

  • munster by 3 points id say with each side scoring 1 try each

    By Anonymous yg, at May 02, 2009 12:25 pm  

  • munster to win. but its gonna be close... 1 score will be the difference. a drop goal or a sneaky try.

    By Anonymous ulsterman, at May 02, 2009 12:28 pm  

  • how anyone can suggest munsters style of play is boring need look only at the ospreys game, enterprising rugby end to end. this whole pick and drive cliche is so outdated, it's really not how munster play the game. athletes 1 to 15, there's a reason 8 of em are on the lions

    By Anonymous btesco, at May 02, 2009 12:30 pm  

  • Connaught Tom, I don't think anyone was slating your province. I meant that I enjoyed seeing Munster and Leinster both beaten at least once by a team that looks to finish last in the league. It means that there's something in Connacht and hopefully they'll continue to do well - and better, even - in the future.

    By Anonymous too lazy to type name, at May 02, 2009 12:41 pm  

  • Munster to run away with it- 31-13 (Sale fan speaking)

    By Anonymous Fred, at May 02, 2009 12:41 pm  

  • To the guy who asked what neutrals predicted: as a frenchman, I must say that last year's final was a big blow. I also support Clermont, so you can imagine how psyched up I was when they were leading in Munster with only 14 men. And as a simple neutral, it's always more exciting to see the underdog win. So personally I would enjoy seeing Leinster win, but I'm still betting on Munster.

    By Anonymous frenchpolak, at May 02, 2009 1:15 pm  

  • Oh, and the score: 23-19

    By Anonymous frenchpolak, at May 02, 2009 1:16 pm  

  • im a neutral and would love leinster to win, but i dont see it happening

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 1:32 pm  

  • jerry flannery - his hair is more important than beating munster

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 1:47 pm  

  • I'm a neutral (in Europe I support the Blues, Bath and Perpignan) and I think Munster will come off the field victors. Of course it would be nice if Leinster win and I hope they do, but let's be realistic. Munster have the better pack and if your pack dominates it doesn't matter how well the other backs play, you will most likely win if you starve their backs of ball especially with a punishing goalkicker like ROG(who is a bit shambles on defence though). Munster to win 18-12 ( seven points or less)

    By Anonymous Cheesekiwi, at May 02, 2009 1:51 pm  

  • Everyone here seems to dismiss Munsters backline, they have Mafi, Tupoki, Earls, Warwick, Howlett and ROG and strings- v dangerous! I think the backs battle will be v exciting - against leinsters backs of BOD, Darcy, Conte, Fitz, Kearney and Horgan.

    Cant wait!

    By Anonymous Connaught Tom, at May 02, 2009 2:30 pm  

  • Kearney's not playing,he has the mumps!Dont write off the Leinster pack Cian Healy Rocky Elsom and Jamie Heaslip are all better and more mobile and dynamic than their opposite numbers!Leinster for the sneaky win!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 3:41 pm  

  • So many people saying that Leinster have a better backline. 15) Nacewa vs Warwick, 14) Horgan vs Howlett, 13) Drico vs Earls, 12) Darcy vs Mafi, 11) Fitz vs Dowling. I'd pick Warwick, Howlett, Drico, Mafi, Fitz. I don't see how Leinster's backs are superior.

    By Anonymous Cojimbo, at May 02, 2009 4:49 pm  

  • I just have a feeling that Munster will misfire...doesn't mean Leinster will win but I think they will be in it with 20 to go.

    I'm a Leinster man, and on any other day would shout myself hoarse for Munster.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at May 02, 2009 6:20 pm  

  • Alan Quinlan...eye gouge on Leo Cullen - nailed by the cameras - disgraceful. Probably can think of something else to do with his Summer than play for the lions because he is gone for months on a cite.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at May 02, 2009 8:09 pm  

  • Sorry fred leinster runs away with it!

    By Anonymous Stubbbs, at May 02, 2009 8:25 pm  

  • Great stuff...feel sorry for Munster but great for Leinster...the people who wear red jersey's to Ireland matches may find this one a bit hard to take.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at May 02, 2009 8:31 pm  

  • Bye bye ya ugly playing cheats

    By Anonymous tehsniper, at May 02, 2009 8:33 pm  

  • Fair play Leinster, fully deserved. Hope the can do the business now against whoever they meet in the final, ill be roaring them on!

    By Anonymous Connaught Tom, at May 02, 2009 9:07 pm  

  • anybody else dissapointed with munsters proformence?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 9:39 pm  

  • "Sorry fred leinster runs away with it!"

    Thomond Park clearly makes a huge difference!

    By Anonymous Fred, at May 02, 2009 10:36 pm  

  • ROG had a nightmare

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2009 11:47 pm  

  • L's defence against Quins wasn't a once off then!

    They don't let much past them, do they?

    Rocky Elsom was immense, D'Arcy, BOD, Healy, Nacewa.

    Only rocky from the above was more or less guaranteed to do so, so fair play overall to them.

    B4 that match, many in Irl thought that only M could have won the HC from the pair of them. Now, L could actually do it (their defence is just superb)

    Quinlan's gouge was well dodgy - c at the end of the match:

    everyone else shook hands briskly as per, but when it came to quinlan and cullen, there was a serious pause and chat.
    Something tells me they weren't exchanging mobile numbers.

    Comparing D'Arcy to Earls the obvious q to ask is: Why are the Lions picked B4 the H Cup final is played?

    By Anonymous mise, at May 03, 2009 12:38 am  

  • tehsniper

    Grow some balls and act like a man, this is rugby not football have a bit of respect

    By Anonymous Patron, at May 03, 2009 11:11 pm  

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