Saturday 21 April 2018

The game at a glance

Man of the match

Dan Biggar

A host of contenders, but a personal nod goes to Biggar. The young out-half kicks and passes like a veteran and barks orders like an aggressive shop steward. Destined to be a legend.

Magic moment

The moment Tommy Bowe scythed through a shambolic Leinster defence offered at least some succour to those supporting Irish rugby. His move to Wales has been utterly justified and other players may follow his path in the future.

Turning point

Not a game of turning points as the Ospreys turned the screw from early on as Leinster slowly imploded. If anything, Jonathan Sexton's relatively easy penalty kick three minutes from the end of the game may have opened an unlikely Houdini Act. He missed the chance and with it went Leinster's faint glimmer of hope.

Talking point

The end of an era for Leinster and, with the majority of the coaching staff on their way out, as well as key veterans such as Malcolm O'Kelly and Girvan Dempsey, their rebuilding promises to be as tortuous as Munster's.

Manager watch

Michael Cheika departs to pastures new, his greatest legacy the eradication of Leinster's soft underbelly, replacing the formerly self-indulgent wastefulness of the province's most talented generation with a winning culture.

Referee watch

Chris White was parachuted in for only his fifth Magners League outing and, while there were some frowns in the Leinster camp about the legality or otherwise of Marty Holah's poaching, there were few public mutterings of discontent.

Crowd watch

Just as their team struggled to make an impact, the efforts of the crowd were a tad disjointed. Not much on the field to get excited about, save the hour mark when Leinster piled on the pressure for the first time. Did their best for the final quarter.

What next

Both teams' Irish and Welsh players will go straight into camp for the summer series of internationals. Wales host South Africa next weekend buoyed by this win and Cardiff's European glory. Ireland's players take on the Barbarians with the majority feeling emotionally and physically drained.

Irish Independent

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