Munster put Leinster to the sword for Junior Interprovincial title success

Munster were crowned Junior Interprovincial Champions when a storming finish in the final 15 minutes yielded three converted tries for a 39-29 win over Leinster at New Ross.

It was a strong Munster bench that proved crucial as Leinster threatened to take the points with an early second-half rally.

Tadhg Bennett put Munster into an early lead with a penalty but a try from Wes Carter converted by Craig Miller put the home side in front.

Bennett kicked his second penalty on 26 minutes and a try by Ricky Whitney, by Bennett restored Munster’s advantage.

Miller closed the gap to three points before a try from Jesse Smith gave Munster an 18-10 halftime lead.

Leinster hit Munster with three tries inside the opening 12 minutes of the second half to lead 29-18 with tries from Rudhán McDonnell, JJ McIlwrath, and David Nicholson with Miller converting the latter two.

Some shrewd switches by the Munster management produced the desired effect in the final fifteen minutes, with James Collins O’Brien, Brian Mullins, and Keelan Stephenson scoring tries and Niall Leahy converting all three to bring the trophy back to the southern province after a six-year gap.

Munster: Jimmy Glynn (Mallow); Jesse Smith (Charleville & District), Willie Walsh (Waterpark), Brian Mullins (Richmond), Keelan Stephenson (Richmond); Tadhg Bennett (Richmond), Conor Kavanagh (Fethard & District); Noel Roche (Waterpark), Ricky Whitney (Kilfeacle & District), TJ Relihan (Newcastle West); Owen Glynn (Mallow), Paddy O’Donoghue (Galbally); Darragh Crowe (Clanwilliam), Sean Glynn (Mallow), Kevin Kinnane (Kilfeacle & District Capt).

Replacements : Cathal O’Regan (Clonakilty), Darragh O’Shea (Ballincollig), James Collins O’Brien (Bandon), Graham Smith (Crosshaven), Gearoid Phelan (Richmond), Olly Young (Charleville), Niall Leahy (Clanwilliam), Shane Airey (Newcastle West).

Leinster: Ben Watson (Wicklow); Eddie Weaver (Seapoint), Ciaran Fennessy (Athy), Jake McDonald (Kilkenny), Robbie Vallejo (Boyne); Craig Miller (Athy), Tristan Brady (Monkstown); Michael Tracey (Roscrea), David Nicholson (Wicklow), Dylan Casey (Edenderry); James Ryan (New Ross), Wes Carter (Kilkenny capt); Rory Hennessy (Boyne), Zach Jungmann (Seapoint), Ruadhán McDonnell (Monkstown).

Replacements: Will Jennings (Newbridge), Martin Murphy (Monkstown), Eoin Walsh (Gorey), JJ McIlwrath (Cill Dara), Tom Tracey (Newbridge), Matt McKenna (Seapoint), Nick Smith (Boyne RFC), Fionn O’Loughlin (Gorey).

Referee: Christopher Lough (IRFU).

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