There is nothing the red machine likes more than to take Leinster to the trenches and force a dogfight, especially with the assistance of a strong first-half wind.
However, Leinster had been forewarned from the 34-22 win at home to Munster and they were also nursing something of a hangover from the one-point defeat (18-17) in Ulster the week before.
They were determined to lay down a marker even into the elements and they looked after the ball very well in the circumstances.
The ‘ball focus’ was a step up from that produced against Ulster the previous week and number eight Ed Brennan was the beneficiary for the opening try which was improved on by a penalty from the right boot of centre Mick O’Gara for 8-0 at the break.
In one sense, the hard work had been done. Leinster just had to be careful about not falling into the trap of feeling the job was done.
They did that by consolidating their superiority and building on their advantage, full-back Sam Dardis following up his long kick to seize on the second try in the 40th minute.
O’Gara increased the lead with a penalty and replacement Ethan Baxter blocked down a Munster attempted clearance to pounce for the third try, O’Gara converting from the touchline to make it 23-0 going into the final quarter.
The combination of Leinster’s fatigue and the never say die attitude of Munster led to two tries by the hosts in the last ten minutes.
They opened their account in the 53rd minute as Tommy Downes embarked on a soccer-style dribble from the visitors’ 22 to score his side’s first try.
Aaron Hennessy scored Munster’s second try in stoppage time following a ruck outside the visitors’ 22 and Andrew Hogan converted.
In addition, it meant Leinster took away the Dudley Herbert Cup, named in honour of the doyen of Crescent College, up for grabs to the team which wins this age-old Schools rivalry on Munster soil.
“We learned from the final quarter that we can’t switch off at all, especially against Munster, who kept coming and coming,” said coach Jeff Carter.
“They had a lot of pride in their play and we just got tired even with the substitutions. We need to be a 70-minute team the next day.
“We don’t play for two weeks. Munster and Ulster have to play each other in Belfast and we will have Ulster in Donnybrook on the 23rd of the month,” said Carter.
“It gives us a chance to have a look at our options for the last game. We played away last week and this week. It is probably no harm to take a breather, especially with lads back in the various schools.”
At Cork IT – MUNSTER 12 (T Downes, A Hennessy try each; A Hogan con); LEINSTER 23 (S Dardis, E Brennan, E Baxter try each; M O’Gara 2 pens, con)
15. John Hurley (Crescent College)
14. Jamin Hoffman (Crescent College)
13. Tommy Downes (CBC)
12. Jude Pendijito (St Munchin’s College)
11. Andrew Hogan (Glenstal Abbey School)
10. Jack Delaney (Crescent College)
9. Jack O’Riordan (CBC)
1. Conor Fitzgerald (Crescent College)
2. Aaron Hennessy (The Ayra Project)
3. Mark Donnelly (CBC)
4. Cian Hurley (Capt) (CBC)
5. Eoin Quilter (PBC)
6. Luke Obersby (Midleton College)
7. Mark Crowe (St Munchin’s College)
8. Alex Kendellen (PBC)
16. Kieran O’Shea (Castletroy College)
17. Ciaran Ryan (Rockwell College)
18. Evan Sheehan (St Munchin’s College)
19. David McCarthy (PBC)
20. Jay Traynor (De La Salle College)
21. Daniel Okeke (Ardscoil Rís)
22. Oisin Mangan (Rockwell College)
23. Cian Whooley (CBC)
15. Sam Dardis (Terenure)
14. Tom Maher (Blackrock) / Max O’Reilly (St Gerard’s) ht
13. Ross McInness (Terenure) / Ben Watson (St Gerard’s) 65 mins
12. Mick O’Gara (Pres Bray)
11. John Maher (Clongowes Wood)
10. Cian Egenton (Castleknock)
9. Ben Murphy (Pres Bray)
1. Conor Duff (Clongowes Wood) / Simon Clear (Gonzaga) 60 mins
2. Jerry Cahir (Cistercian, Roscrea) / Bobby Sheehan (Clongowes) 45 mins
3. Luke Rigney (Cistercian, Roscrea) / Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock) 50 mins
4. Jody Booth (St Michael’s) / Gavin Dowling (Clongowes) 58 mins
5. Cian Prendergast (Newbridge, Capt)
6. Anthony Ryan (Clongowes Wood) / Ethan Baxter (St Gerard’s)
7. Jack Cooke (Terenure)
8. Ed Brennan (Blackrock)