2011 Celtic League Grand Final

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2011 Celtic League Grand Final
Event 2010–11 Celtic League
Date 28 May 2011
Venue Thomond Park, Limerick
Man of the Match David Wallace[1]
Referee Nigel Owens (WRU)
Attendance 26,100
Weather Dry
2010
2012

The 2011 Celtic League Grand Final was the final match of the 2010–11 Celtic League season. The final was won by Munster who defeated Leinster by 19-9 at Thomond Park to claim their third Celtic League title.[2][3]

Background and Build Up[edit]

2010-11 was the tenth Celtic League season and the fifth and final season with Magners as title sponsor. It would also prove to be the final season before the league was rebranded as "Pro12" from 2011–12. The regular season began on 3 September 2010 and finished on the weekend of 6–8 May 2011. During these stages, each team played every other team both home and away and were awarded points according to the standard bonus point system. This was the second season to follow the play-off structure to determine the Celtic League champion, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals. The winner of each semi final advanced to the Grand Final, which took place 28 May and was hosted by the team that finished highest in the table following the regular season, which was Munster.[4][5] The previous week on 21 May, Leinster had won the 2011 Heineken Cup.[6] Munster fielded the same starting line-up from their 18-11 semi-final win against the Ospreys.[7] An ankle injury sustained in the Heineken Cup Final prevented Leinster's Gordon D'Arcy's from starting, Fergus McFadden instead started alongside Brian O'Driscoll in the centre.[8] Heinke van der Merwe and Shane Jennings also started for Leinster instead of Cian Healy and Kevin McLaughlin from the Heineken Cup Final team.[9]

All tickets for the final sold out.[10][11] The match was shown live on TV in Ireland by RTÉ Two and also by TG4, in the UK the match was covered by BBC Two Wales and BBC Alba.[12] Highlights were shown in Central and Northern Scotland on STV.

Route to the final[edit]

2010-11 Final Table[edit]

Under the standard bonus point system, points were awarded as follows:

  • 4 points for a win
  • 2 points for a draw
  • 1 "bonus" point for scoring 4 tries (or more) (Try bonus)
  • 1 "bonus" point for losing by 7 points (or fewer) (Losing bonus)
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD TF TA Try bonus Losing bonus Pts
1 Ireland Munster 21 18 0 3 474 321 +153 41 22 5 2 79
2 Ireland Leinster 21 14 1 6 457 333 +124 46 25 4 3 65
3 Ireland Ulster 21 14 1 6 460 405 +55 41 34 3 2 63
4 Wales Cardiff Blues 21 13 1 7 456 354 +102 35 29 3 3 60
5 Wales Ospreys 21 11 1 9 541 408 +133 56 28 6 7 59
6 Wales Scarlets 21 11 1 9 465 430 +35 45 41 4 7 57
7 Wales Newport Gwent Dragons 21 10 1 10 431 442 −11 46 46 3 3 48
8 Scotland Edinburgh 21 9 0 12 415 429 −14 39 41 2 5 43
9 Ireland Connacht 21 7 1 13 388 437 −49 32 40 3 6 39
10 Italy Benetton Treviso 21 8 0 13 343 496 −153 26 58 0 2 34
11 Scotland Glasgow Warriors 21 6 1 14 398 505 −107 33 44 1 6 33
12 Italy Aironi 21 1 0 20 237 505 −268 20 52 0 7 11
Correct as of 30 April 2011


Previous 2010-11 Celtic League meetings[edit]

2 October 2010
19:30
Leinster Ireland 13 – 9 Ireland Munster (1 BP)
Report
Aviva Stadium
Attendance: 50,645
Referee: Jérôme Garces
2 April 2011
19:30
Munster Ireland 24 – 23 Ireland Leinster (1 BP)
Report
Thomond Park
Attendance: 25,923
Referee: Andrew Small

2011 Playoffs[edit]

Semi-finals[edit]

13 May 2011
19:05
Leinster Ireland 18 – 3 Ireland Ulster
Try: McFadden 25' m
Fitzgerald 72' c
Con: McFadden (1/1)
Pen: Sexton (2/3) 5', 40'
Report Pen: Pienaar (1/1) 62'
RDS Arena
Referee: George Clancy

14 May 2011
18:30
Munster Ireland 18 – 11 Wales Ospreys
Try: Barnes (2) 32' m, 57' c
Con: O'Gara (1/2)
Pen: O'Gara (2/4) 14', 49'
Report Try: Fussell 78' m
Pen: Biggar (2/2) 38', 55'
Thomond Park
Referee: Nigel Owens

Match[edit]

Summary[edit]

Ronan O'Gara converted a Doug Howlett try after twelve minutes before Jonathan Sexton responded with a penalty for Leinster after twenty nine minutes to leave Munster 7-3 ahead at half time.[13] The Munster try, which Howlett scored in the corner was the first Munster scored against Leinster since 2009. In the second half Donncha O'Callaghan was sin-binned for not rolling away and Sexton scored from the resulting penalty. After sixty six minutes O'Gara found Keith Earls with a cross-field kick to the corner which the winger caught before stretching to ground the ball with one hand. Munster were awarded a penalty try with one minute remaining, which O'Gara converted to leave the final score at 19-9.[14][15]

Details[edit]

28 May 2011
17:05
Munster Ireland 19 – 9 Ireland Leinster
Try: Howlett 12' c
Earls 66' m
Penalty try 79' c
Con: O'Gara (2/3)
Report Pen: Sexton (3/4) 29', 46', 60'
Thomond Park
Attendance: 26,100
Referee: Nigel Owens
Ireland Munster:
FB 15 Ireland Felix Jones
RW 14 New Zealand Doug Howlett
CT 13 Ireland Danny Barnes
CT 12 Tonga Lifeimi Mafi
LW 11 Ireland Keith Earls
FH 10 Ireland Ronan O'Gara
SH 9 Ireland Conor Murray
N8 8 Ireland James Coughlan
OF 7 Ireland David Wallace
BF 6 Ireland Donnacha Ryan
RL 5 Ireland Paul O'Connell (c)
LL 4 Ireland Donncha O'Callaghan
TP 3 Ireland John Hayes
HK 2 Ireland Damien Varley
LP 1 Ireland Marcus Horan
Substitutions:
HK 16 Ireland Mike Sherry
P 17 South Africa Wian du Preez
P 18 Ireland Stephen Archer
L 19 Ireland Denis Leamy
FL 20 Ireland Niall Ronan
SH 21 Ireland Peter Stringer
FH 22 Australia Paul Warwick
C 23 Ireland Johne Murphy
Coach:
Australia Tony McGahan
Ireland Leinster:
FB 15 Fiji Isa Nacewa
RW 14 Ireland Shane Horgan
CT 13 Ireland Brian O'Driscoll
CT 12 Ireland Fergus McFadden
LW 11 Ireland Luke Fitzgerald
FH 10 Ireland Jonathan Sexton
SH 9 Ireland Eoin Reddan
N8 8 Ireland Jamie Heaslip
OF 7 Ireland Shane Jennings
BF 6 Ireland Sean O'Brien
RL 5 Scotland Nathan Hines
LL 4 Ireland Leo Cullen (c)
TP 3 Ireland Mike Ross
HK 2 South Africa Richardt Strauss
LP 1 South Africa Heinke van der Merwe
Substitutions:
HK 16 Ireland Aaron Dundon
P 17 Ireland Cian Healy
P 18 Cook Islands Stan Wright
L 19 Ireland Devin Toner
L 20 Ireland Kevin McLaughlin
SH 21 Ireland Paul O'Donohoe
FH 22 Ireland Ian Madigan
C 23 Ireland Eoin O'Malley
Coach:
New Zealand Josef Schmidt

Touch judges:


Television match official:

Reaction[edit]

Leinster coach Josef Schmidt felt that fatigue may have been a factor in their defeat to Munster in the Final. He felt that coming only a week after their Heineken Cup win their energy levels may not have been a high as Munster's, "To be honest, I kind of felt that Munster needed it more than we wanted it. They showed a lot of character, and that made it difficult for us to really keep our tempo, and play the game that we wanted to play" he said.[16] Munster coach Tony McGahan was delighted with his team's win saying "It’s huge for everyone right across the board, from the playing group, the management and the organisation to the development officers and young players coming through, and more important to the supporters. They can walk around with a smile on their faces, knowing that we have done something very important in the context of the Magners League season".[17] Munster captain Paul O'Connell said that the game was a very good thing for Irish rugby, "Both sides have a lot of leadership, and no little skill, people talk about this being a good era for Ireland".[18] Munster's John Hayes noted that it was important to win the knock out matches, saying “We were disappointing in Europe, but good in the Magners, you can finish the League phase of the competition on top of the table, but it doesn’t get you anything, it is important to win the knock-out matches".[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Munster's old fire is too hot for tired Blues". Irish Independent. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Munster win Magners League final to lay ghost of Leinster double". Guardian. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Munster 19-9 Leinster". BBC Sport. 30 May 2011. Archived from the original on 29 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  4. ^ BBC Sport
  5. ^ BBC Sport
  6. ^ "Heineken Cup: Leinster 33-22 Northampton". RTÉ Sport. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Munster unchanged for Magners Grand Final". RTÉ Sport. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Leinster name strong XV for Thomond clash". RTÉ Sport. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Magners League Grand Final: Munster v Leinster". RTÉ Sport. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Magners League Grand Final - Tickets Sold Out". Munster rugby.ie. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Grand Final ticket information". Magnersleague.com. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "Magners League: Grand Final Preview". irishrugby.ie. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Munster power to Magners title". ESPNscrum. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  14. ^ "Redemption for Reds as old guard rise to the challenge". Irish Examiner. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "Munster 19-9 Leinster". RTÉ Sport. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Tiredness hits Leinster's double hopes". RTÉ Sport. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  17. ^ "Something special says McGahan". Magnersleague.com. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  18. ^ "Munster earn fitting reward for consistent season". Irish Times. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  19. ^ "‘Bull’ to enjoy rest but unsure if he’ll wear red again". Limerick Leader. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 

External links[edit]