When the shift in provincial power begins

Linster is set to travel to Marseille for the Champions Cup final this weekend with the fifth European star. They are facing a difficult task.

Ronan O’Gara, who will be the centerpiece of many media angles that will pit him against his old rival Leinster, and his former fly-half enemy Jonathan Sexton plan to stop them. Its La Rochelle side is equipped with a monstrous pack and a rugby mantra of ‘Keep Ball Alive’, which supports fast ball and lots of offloading.

Victory for Leinster will not only allow their tailors to sew a fifth star to their wardrobe, but their supervisors at RDS Arena may have to create another shelf for another trophy, as this will be their 11th representation since their first Heineken Cup in 2009. . The URC also has a victory card. It would not be such a bold prediction to double-predict this ruthlessly clinical Leinster side.

One of the communal reasons for the sports dynasty is that it is difficult, seemingly impossible, to imagine the end of their domination forever. Pep Guardiola’s current dominance over Manchester City in the Premier League seems unlikely. But once it seemed that the superiority of Manchester United may never end. Still, it did.

States rise and they eventually fall. One day Leinster will fall. But that day is clearly far away.

Their rise; The decade of their dominance sprouted all those years ago with the 2009 European title. A title that persuaded Leinster’s ascent and mobilized Munster’s descent.

After their 2008 Heineken Cup win, some Munster supporters would believe you if you told them the province would claim only two trophies – the 2009 and 2011 Magnus League – in the next 13 years.

Munster rugby

(Photo by Sam Burns / Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Probably, even less Lenster supporters would believe you if you told them that their side would claim ten big trophies within the same period.

The first of ten silver medals to sit on the RDS shelf, in addition to their 2008 Magnus League trophy that came before Munster’s 2008 victory, was Leinster’s first European title since a 19-16 victory over English powerhouse Leicester Tigers.

Johnny Sexton’s penalty, about ten meters from the left touchline, proved decisive for Leinster in the 70th minute at Murfield. Sexton is set to begin his reign as Ireland’s premier fly-half – as Leinster begins his own reign.

However, the real tide did not turn as Leo Cullen and Chris Whitaker jointly lifted the Heineken Cup. Rather, the blue wave hit the European coast a few weeks ago, when current champions Munster were knocked out in the semi-finals at Leinster Crook Park. A result that indicates a change of power between the two provinces.

It’s probably easier to look back now, especially as we know Linster as a strong team today, and I think their victory over their red-clad rivals was not surprising. Despite Munster’s status as European king at the time, should it be so striking that a party with names like Brian O’Driscall, Jamie Heslip, Gordon D’Arcy, Isa Naseva, Rocky Elsom and Felipe Contempomi are the best as their provincial opponents? Absolutely?

But it was amazing. It was a shock. With a capacity of 82,208 people, their determination for Munster at Croke Park proved to be a thing of the past, with few people giving Leinster a chance – the then world record attendance for a club rugby match.

Earlier, many questioned whether Leinster could handle the intense Munster pack. The newly experienced Grand Slam is full of experienced title winners, and many have already been booked, including South African Lions tickets. The likes of Paul O’Connell, Jerry Flannery, Alan Quinlan and Doncha O’Callaghan will certainly be too much. Especially as a near-uniform pack to beat Leinster just three weeks ago by hand.

Not to mention their match on the RDS at the start of the season, where Munster restricted Leinster so much that they kept their former rivals goalless.

Behind a terrific pack was Peter Stringer and O’Gara, a premier halfback pairing, Lifemie Muffy outside of them. With Keith Earls and one of Doug Howlett’s most successful scorers of his generation, Munster was a real favorite to beat a team that had already doubled its best that season, and advanced to another final.

A great stage was set up at Croke Park. The atmosphere was full of memories of the 2006 semi-finals, where under a bright blue Dublin sky, Munster defeated Leinster 30-6 on their way to a final victory over Bearetz to settle Ireland’s domestic dispute. This time there will be no result.

Contempomi’s injury threatened to sabotage Leinster’s win, but Sexton came on as his substitute, instantly kicking a penalty and giving a nicely guaranteed performance. Any suggestions from Leinster were abruptly rejected in the 31st minute as D’Arcy bypassed the Earls and went over the Croke Park turf to score in his team’s opening attempt.

Their power intensified as Luke Fitzgerald ended the counter-attack early in the second half.

For Munster, it was the taste of their own medicine. Their determined and disciplined opponents lead them into delirium. O’Gara’s threads began to unravel as wrong passes and kicks entered his game.

His frustration was exacerbated when he threw a pass to O’Connell at Leinster’s 22, only to stop the brilliant O’Driscall and run untouched to score.

O’Driscoll and his Leinstermen, undoubtedly tortured by that fixture three years ago, threw their demons into bed. It was humble for Munster, who had never suffered such a loss to their rivals with so much on the line before.

And so, a new Leinster rose. They traveled to Marefield and won their first European title, one of four coming soon. Their fifth could come this weekend.

Munster was relatively inferior. They may still be Ireland’s second-best team, reaching the domestic and European semifinals regularly, but the gap between the two seems to be widening every year. The train derailed from Limerick and never got back on track.

I hope you enjoyed this Euro-centric segment looking back to 2009 before the European finals this weekend.

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