Munster finally broke their duck against PRO14 champions Leinster under South African coach Johann van Graan, with a Man of the Match performance by Springbok midfielder Damian de Allende sparking his side into a magical victory in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup that will be remembered for a long time to come.
De Allende broke in the opening minutes, turned Leinster fullback Jordan Lamour in circles, then offloaded to Conor Murray for the first of his two tries as Munster recorded their first win in Dublin since 2014.
While it would be easy to say that Leinster had one eye on the European Cup semi-final clash with La Rochelle this coming weekend, fielding only three players that started in their PRO14 final win over Munster, the victory was important for Munster as they broke their duck and won away from home to lift some of the pressure on Van Graan.
But the Munster coach wasn’t going overboard after the 27-3 win, saying it was a step up from their narrow loss to Toulouse in the European Cup as they continued to build.
“We’re very happy about the result, it was a very physical game with two quality sides who went at each other," said Van Graan, Springbok assistant coach from 2012 to 2016.
"The first try we scored was a very good broken field attack, it was a titanic battle and once we got our noses in front I felt we kept the pressure on. It’s very good for this group to come and win in the RDS.
“I think we took some of the lessons we learned in the PRO14 final, we worked hard in the last few weeks. I think it was a real physical battle. It’s the first round of Rainbow Cup and, win or lose, we’ll review this and move on.
“I thought it was a very good team performance by all involved. Tactically we picked in a specific way, our starters did really well, and the impact from the bench was really good. I felt it was a good build on the Toulouse performance from a few weeks ago," added Van Graan.