Tuesday 22 October 2019

Rolling back the years to a memorable day in Dublin and beating European champions

Daragh Small looks back on some big October outings in Munster’s history

Keith Wood during Munster's win over Ulster in 1999. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Keith Wood during Munster's win over Ulster in 1999. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

October 4 2014, Leinster 23 Munster 34, Aviva Stadium: Ian Keatley scored 21 points as Munster secured a stunning 11-point win away to Leinster in their massive PRO12 inter-provincial derby.

Munster took a big 28-9 lead into half-time following tries from Keatley, James Cronin and Robin Copeland as they bossed matters in Dublin.

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Ian Keatley kicked the Reds to victory against Leinster ten years later. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Ian Keatley kicked the Reds to victory against Leinster ten years later. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Leinster scored first courtesy of Ian Madigan's penalty following an indiscretion at scrum-time. Keatley and Madigan exchanged penalties and the hosts were 6-3 in front after 12 minutes.

Conor Murray was held up over the Leinster try-line two minutes later and Keatley scored his second penalty to tie things up.

Munster loosehead Cronin scored the first try of the game in the 18th minute and although Keatley missed the subsequent conversion, he made amends from the kicking tee six minutes later.

Munster were rampant and further tries followed from Copeland and Keatley.

Denis Leamy scored the winning try against Scarlets in 2004. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Denis Leamy scored the winning try against Scarlets in 2004. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

OCTOBER 3 2009

Leinster 30 Munster 0

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Munster were dominated by Leinster as John Hayes was sent off in a heavy defeat at the RDS.

Ireland internationals Gordan D'Arcy, Brian O'Driscoll and Shane Horgan all touched down in the big Magners League inter-provincial derby with Johnny Sexton scoring 15 points.

A couple of Sexton penalties and D'Arcy's try gave Leinster a 13-0 interval advantage, and try as they might there was no breakthrough for Munster after the break. Instead a couple of efforts from O'Driscoll and Horgan inflicted further misery on the visitors.

OCTOBER 3 2004

Munster 19 Llannelli Scarlets 13

Thomond Park

Denis Leamy scored the decisive try as Munster secured a narrow win over Llannelli Scarlets in the Celtic League.

Christian Cullen and Alan Quinlan also touched down for tries but Munster did allow the visitors to get in for a losing bonus point.

Munster held a narrow 5-3 lead at half-time following Quinlan's opener. That try came off the back of a well-controlled rolling maul from 35 metres out.

Munster started well in the second half with Anthony Foley combining with Ronan O'Gara and Anthony Horgan before Cullen touched down.

Once more the forward pack were heavily involved in Munster's third try but it was Cullen who made the break for Peter Stringer to set up Leamy for the crucial try.

OCTOBER 29 1999

Munster 36 Ulster 19

Musgrave Park

After big September victories over Ulster (25-24) and an Ireland XV (26-19), Munster continued their fine start to the season with another special win, this time deferating reigning European Cup champions, Ulster at Musgrave Park.

Much of Munster's focus had turned to Europe and they would go on a ground-breaking run to the final later that season.

Munster had reached the Heineken Cup quarter-finals the previous year and they were faced with the proposition of taking on Pontypridd, Saracens and the previous year's beaten finalists Colomiers in their pool.

Munster failed in their first three attempts to get out of the pool but after some green shoots of hope in 1998-99, they went on to make history in this season and began a long affinity with the Heineken Cup.

Declan Kidney had taken over from John Bevan as head coach and the up-turn in fortunes was immediate.

And back-to-back wins over the European Cup holders was a big statement at the start of a brilliant season.

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