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

Monday, May 30, 2011

Munster take the Magners League title after beating Leinster in Grand Final

One of the bigger games of the weekend was the all Irish Magners League Grand Final, contested by bitter rivals Munster and Leinster. This time around, Munster took the title 19-9.

It was a task too large for Leinster, who a week prior had battled it out in the pulsating Heineken Cup Final. To come back from that and play another big final, especially against a side like Munster, was always going to be an uphill battle.

Leinster's aim was to get the double though, regardless of what happened before. Munster held firm though, with Doug Howlett and Keith Earls breaching the visitor's defence. Jonny Sexton did what he could to pull things back, but the Red Army were smiling come full time.

"I think today was a very good thing for Irish rugby. We haven’t always been where we would like to have been over the last two years, but I think that Leinster and Munster have always made each other better, and we have made the Irish team better by driving on standards," said Paul O'Connell.

"Both sides have a lot of leadership, and no little skill. People talk about this being a good era for Ireland, and when you look at some of the young players coming through, you would be very confident for the future.

"Obviously I haven’t seen the game, but it seemed to me to be a very tough, high-standard game, with a lot of very good stuff at the breakdown in particular, which is so important. I think it would be a good advertisement for the Irish game, and for the Magners League in general,” he said.

The quality of these highlights is admittedly not great, but they're good for now, and then later in the week other bits from the game, notably one or two big hits, will be featured.

Time: 04:16



  • Leinster got the double :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 11:30 pm  

  • Fair play Munster. Ye deserved it. Great defense. We didn't seem to have our usual cutting edge unfortunately.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 30, 2011 11:41 pm  

  • I think that Leinster fan has double-vision after being slapped around the pitch by Munster. Or maybe it's confusing cos they're based in Double-in City... Well played Munster

    By Anonymous doubletrouble, at May 30, 2011 11:47 pm  

  • I think your idea of getting "slapped around" is a little off to be honest. Well played Munster though, some consolation for the season I suppose.

    By Anonymous I hate ppl who write "First!", at May 30, 2011 11:51 pm  

  • Has anyone else noticed that for the last year or two, instead of having complete silence in Thomond Park for opposition goalkicks, there are about 10 faggots who scream just as the player strikes the ball? It's really annoying, and it's a shame that something so special is ruined by these few arseholes.

    By Anonymous New Centre Pairing, at May 30, 2011 11:57 pm  

  • We were slapped around! Munster played an intensely physical game, and it worked wonders. That's what happens in Thomond though, they just upped the intensity.

    At one stage, we had 3/4 wounded in the backline, and Strauss finished the game at 7 after we ran out of back row players!

    Serious defence and tenacity from Munster to force mistake after mistake from Leinster. Reddan had the proverbial nightmare game. Hopefully his last bogey till after the World Cup though!

    By Blogger Emmet, at May 30, 2011 11:57 pm  

  • Speaking of scrum halves, what do people think of conor murray, has been playing really well for munster in the past couple pf games for them. Could well be included in the squad. Jones at full back has been impressive too, especially in defense.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 12:13 am  

  • whats with "dougie" howlett? i just noticed that and it really bugs me. have commentaters always referred to him that way or has it just been starting this season? just curious

    By Anonymous miguel, at May 31, 2011 12:32 am  

  • Stupid question from a French viewer: does the Magners League mean nothing to the Irish players? I mean the Munstermen don't even smile after the final whistle. No celebration, no hugs, no nothing! That seems so weird.
    The Top 14 I think is regarded as more important than the HCup for French clubs which would explain the big difference in reactions I guess, but still, what a strange feeling it is watching these guys being champions of Ireland and not even smiling for it!

    By Blogger Threma, at May 31, 2011 12:36 am  

  • Doff of the cap to leinster on the H cup! I enjoyed their performances and brand of rugby all year in that competition but this was typical of their magners standard.
    I suspect munster approached the season with a view to winning the double and spread themselves too thin to achieve it. Leinster looked like they were exclusively concentrating on the H cup most of the season (which they did intimidatingly well.)
    However the upped effort to make the play-off in the closing stages of the league, coupled with their heineken encounters weakened them to the point that they were, as i previously mentioned, slapped around, (note final scrum capitulation)
    p.s. Marcus Horan's a tampon for trying to fake his death at the hands of nathan hines

    By Anonymous doubletrouble, at May 31, 2011 1:04 am  

  • I find it absolutely hilarious that Leinster were 'fatigued' after the ribbing the fans et al gave saints after Mallinder blamed their HC loss on fatigue! Can't beat a good old serving of double standards and irony!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 1:11 am  

  • Good stuff. Wasn't a fan of Earl's afters on Horgan after he scored that try. None of that in the beautiful game thanks!!

    Leinster just had little cutting edge this time around. A game too far after the HC match? Discuss!

    By Blogger Alexander, at May 31, 2011 1:32 am  

  • Not the Magners league!! We'll never live this down!! The Heineken cup just pales into insignificance beside it!!!

    By Anonymous Distraught Leinster Fan, at May 31, 2011 1:40 am  

  • Let's be honest. Just as Leinster benefited from Northampton being shagged after a big game a week before the Heineken Cup final...Leinster were shagged after their Heineken cup game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 1:49 am  

  • Anybody see BOD's no look pass out the back door? one for the highlight reel

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 1:51 am  

  • reddan what was he thinking!! a 3 point game we just stopped the munster surge and had a penalty to play the game in their house get 3 points or a try get extra time at least and he taps and goes showed no composure! really ruined his chance for world cup! murray a bit inexperienced still. thats what lost us the game great defense by munster to keep us out on 3 occasions! not sure if the scrum at the end is the renewal of hayes! one game isn't a world cup call up!

    By Anonymous Rick, at May 31, 2011 2:05 am  

  • fair play to Munster. Dissapointed as a Leinster fan, but reckon this is the best possible result for Ireland's chances at the world cup. Would love to see Felix Jones in the world cup squad. Slighlty inexperienced but his defense is immense and he's great going forward as well.

    By Anonymous bring Felix, at May 31, 2011 2:22 am  

  • What are people's opinions on the scrumhalf situation for Ireland going into the world cup? It's become glaringly apparent that Tomás O'Leary is not an international standard scrumhalf; there's just no pace to the play when he's there, and he's a bad decision-maker. But then I think Reddan is just not trustworthy, especially on defence, even if he adds loads of pace to the play.

    Would anybody give Conor Murray or Duncan Williams a go in the WC warm-up games and see how they go?

    By Anonymous New Centre Pairing, at May 31, 2011 3:17 am  

  • Mafi awesome link !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 5:03 am  

  • the penalty try was complete bull dung. Leinster should have won

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 6:59 am  

  • for me, getting slapped around means getting hammered or as happened in the Barbarians game you play a whole half getting bullied off the ball. That just didn't happen here, 19-9 is low scoring by todays standards and just shows how toughly contested it was.
    I don't think it was a game too far for the legs as much as for the head. After the HC final these guys probably weren't as motivated as they should have been.
    But as I said before, no one should begrudge Munster a bit of silverware for their season.

    By Anonymous I hate ppl who write "First!", at May 31, 2011 7:31 am  

  • slapped around the pitch is a laughable, blinkered view of the game. If a team is slapped around the pitch they would need to be heavily beaten on the scoreboard, something Munster failed to achieve. Anyway, enjoy the second rate competition crown.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 12:59 pm  

  • Heaslip and McLaughlin disengasged scrum early and stopped def try from Coughlan. Pen try whether 1st or 15th scrum.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 3:47 pm  

  • What the hell is up with all the bitter Leinster fans? Magners League is an excellent competition and a good achievement for Munster to win, especially given the tribulations all year in Europe. Nothing takes away from Leinster's success, and I'ld gladly trade with them, but it was still a good achievement by Munster to win the Magners...now stop calling it a Mickey Mouse competition, because that reflects equally bad on Leinster as it does on Munster and all the other teams in Scotland, Wales, Italy and Ireland

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2011 5:08 pm  

  • ^ Here here. We should celebrate having two champions instead of arguing about who's better.

    By Anonymous New Centre Pairing, at May 31, 2011 5:39 pm  

  • There was a scene just after Paul O'Connell smashed and turned over Horgan (taking an elbow to the nose in the process) that just about summed the man up.
    Nose all over his face, blood flowing, screaming at his forwards, with Ronan O'Gara cowering in the background at the sight of the man. I don't know what's more red, the shirt, the blood, or his hair, but either way he didnt even seem to notice and smashed his way through the next 30 mins of the game.

    Leinster did fantastically though, more flashes of BOD brilliance, and Sexton has nailed the green 10 shirt.

    By Anonymous MunsterMachine, at May 31, 2011 8:32 pm  

  • To answer your question Threma, Munster were very happy with the cup. The highlights dont do it justice. If you saw them after they were given the penalty try with a few minutes remaining they were celebrating then. Also, in this clip the camera is only on them briefly after the whistle was blown and didn't show the whole situation after the game ended.

    And on the other note Threma, the magners league is not just irish teams, it also has scottish, welsh, and now italian teams in it. But yes irish teams would consider the heineken cup the big one. Probably somewhat to do with the fact that the teams in the magners league are in the competition year in year out regardless of how they preform. Unlike the english premiership and the top 14, there are no relegations from this league due to the lack of available teams. However, if there was relegations in this league it probably would help improve the standards of the league but saying that, the standard of the league has improved significantly since it first started.

    Maybe if munster started the heineken cup with the team they finished the magners league with they might have done better. Some good young talent came through in the latter stages in Murray, Jones, and Barnes. All three i reckon should at least be considered for the world cup training squad. I think Connor Murray has the physicallity of O Leary but is that bit better with the passing. I think it would be stupid of Kidney to neglect Felix Jones who looks very impressive both attacking and defending.

    As much as i hate to say it, congratulations to leinster on winning the heineken cup. Wat a great game to watch and is great for Irish rugby. I think it was the first time the whole country was behind leinster and not just the leinster supporters. Its great to see all irish teams in the heineken cup next year and i'm sure connacht will be well able to mix it up with the bigger teams.

    Next week, chapter 2....

    By Anonymous Giovanni Trapotonni, at May 31, 2011 10:18 pm  

  • Damn how long will david wallace play like that. the guy's 35 or so and still looks great.

    And to the people complaining about the penalty try... really? Like... 2 guys disengage and go to the line and you're still not sure that's a penalty try.
    and from both teams, there seems to be a good future for irish rugby to come up

    By Blogger Carlos da Costa, at May 31, 2011 11:23 pm  

  • Marcus Horan hang your head in shame or take up soccer, have you been taking diving lessons off ronaldo?
    And how you got away with the off the ball shoulder charge on odriscoll!!!!
    tut tut tut....
    looking forward to the wc...

    By Blogger Ronan, at June 01, 2011 12:13 am  

  • Threma - if you are asking if they care, look at the reaction after the penalty try, because that is when they knew that they were champions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy. Leinster, on the other hand, are the champions of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy.

    At the final whistle, they just had to go and shake hands with the guys that will be in the World Cup squad with them, not celebrate in their faces.

    I agree that the Heineken Cup is more important to Irish teams though, as it means you are the best in Europe, not just in your own league. This is why teams want to win the European Cup in soccer more than their own leagues.

    It is interesting though - the attitude of French teams (other than Tolouse and few others) to the European Cup is a bit like the English teams' attitude to the World Cup for soccer until the 50's - they didn't even bother to enter, because they assumed that they were the best in the world anyway :)

    By Anonymous Mike, at June 01, 2011 1:29 am  

  • highlights of the whole game here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b011vjgj/Live_Rugby_Munster_v_Leinster/

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2011 2:25 am  

  • sorry, not highlights... real-time, anns a' Ghaidhlig.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2011 2:27 am  

  • Mafi to Dougy.... A couple of very irish names there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2011 6:13 am  

  • Mafi to Dougy.... A couple of very irish names there.
    Leinster had 4 non-Irish players out of a squad of 23, while Munster also had 4 out of 23.

    Howlett and Mafi were the only 2 non-Irish players in Munster's starting team, while Leinster started with Van Der Merwe, Nacewa, Hines and Strauss.

    Just for info :)

    By Anonymous Mike, at June 01, 2011 12:11 pm  

  • Put up David Wallace's try saving tackle on Mcfadden. That's Munster rugby at it's best!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2011 5:53 pm  

  • Thanks Mike and Giovani for your answers. Sorry for forgetting Italian, Welsh and Scottish teams. I know they play the Magners too, I just forgot about them when writing the comment.
    Concerning your (I hope) ironic comment Mike saying we don't care about the HCup because we think we're the best, this is a nonsense. I think it's about the history behind the Top14. The trophy you won with the Top14 exists since 1892. It represents a lot for French rugbymen. The HCup being kind of recent, it will take time before we gain the same interest for it.
    I would say because the Magners league is also a recent format, it is natural that your interest goes to the biggest competition. What do you think?

    By Blogger Threma, at June 01, 2011 10:08 pm  

  • love mafi celebrating the try before Howlett has grounded the ball, it nearly could've been obstruction if Howlett tried to get closer to the posts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2011 10:09 am  

  • Threma - I agree with you. I think that the IRL/SCO/WAL/ITAL leage (it will not be called 'Magners League' next year - it may be called the Pro 12 League) will take longer to become properly established, as it has a very short history compared to the French league, and has less prestige for the competing teams.

    I did not mean to imply that the French teams think that they are the best, I was just giving a previous example of a country that was not so interested in what other countries could see was a very import competition.

    By Anonymous Mike, at June 02, 2011 12:56 pm  

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