Leo Cullen’s Leinster maintained their perfect start to the BKT United Rugby Championship against their great rivals Munster at The Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Tries by Scott Penny, Dan Sheehan, Luke McGrath and Rob Russell demonstrated the superior edge the Blues brought to secure the bonus-point.

Munster’s failure to cope with Jonathan Sexton’s kick-off allowed the home side to come in waves, through McGrath, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw and Ciaran Frawley before Jason Jenkins was unable to ground the ball.

Tom Ahern’s hand in the ruck was the basis for an uncharacteristic penalty miss by Sexton from  just left of the posts.

A Ringrose step and Sexton crossfield connection with Jimmy O’Brien were countered by Conor Murray’s quick-thinking to pick up a turnover at the base of a ruck.

There was quite a bit of ball hoisted in the air, Carbery often releasing pressure and Jimmy O’Brien almost making the breakthrough from a Sexton garryowen.

This season, Munster’s strength has been its defence and it held up well in the circumstances, Joey Carbery’s penalty driving them inside the 22 for the first time where James Ryan’s aggression at the ruck earned a reprieve.

A fine Leinster attack was triggered by Ryan’s lineout grab, Jamie Osborne taking off up the left only for his pass inside to McGrath to be picked off by Shane Daly.

Leinster’s discipline faltered at the ruck for Carbery to emulate Sexton in missing a penalty at the end of the first quarter.

An over-eager attitude in defence handed Carbery the penalty to put Munster three-up in the 23rd minute.

The home side came alive up the left, Frawley scything into space and McGrath nearly getting away from Jack Crowley.

Keynan Knox led with a shoulder into Ryan at a ruck to draw a yellow card from referee Andrew Brace.

From a scrum, Caelan Doris broke the gain line and Penny powered over with Michael Alaalatoa on his hip, Sexton converting for 7-3 on the half-hour.

Munster were quick to bite back, Carbery looking to the corner instead of the posts. Young guns Ahern and Crowley carried strong without piercing the Blues, Carbery coming back to strike a penalty for a one-point game.

Once again, Leinster threaded passes to the left for O’Brien, Frawley and Osborne to threaten. The latter could not gather Cian Healy’s bullet-pass from a ruck as Knox returned from the bin.

The lively Osborne came again, chipping over the top. But, Jean Kleyn left his feet to make contact with the full-back to see yellow.

Leinster looked certain to score from a maul when a cluster of bodies prevented Dan Sheehan from grounding the ball to leave it 7-6 at the interval.

The wisdom of Sexton and wit of McGrath forced Murray into the concession of a lineout on halfway.

When a loose ball was hacked on by Jack O’Donoghue, O’Brien temporarily retrieved the ball.

However, the ball spilled out on Munster’s side, John Hodnett chose to carry instead of put Daly over on the right.

There was still enough composure for Gavin Coombes to whip a wide pass into the arms of his cousin Liam Coombes for a sweet try, converted by Carbery in the 47th minute.

Better again, second-row Kleyn returned to the fray to add his weight in repelling what was to come.

No matter, Conor Murray was deemed to have infringed at a ruck and Leinster’s maul moved onto the front foot for Sheehan’s footwork to do the rest, Sexton slipping them 14-13 in front from the conversion in the 51st minute.

The ball resembled a bar of soap as multiple knock-ons and referee Brace’s use of the advantage rule left players out on their feet.

Munster were first to crack when losing their manners at the breakdown for Sexton to land a penalty in the 58th minute.

The Leinster scrum turned on the power and the lineout, courtesy of Doris’s grab, set up the platform for McGrath to dart away from the maul for the try to make it 22-13 in the 64th minute.

Munster were now in take-a-chance territory, twice turning to the maul and a series of pick and drives that were eventually thwarted by Henshaw’s thunderous counter-ruck.

There was still a 5-metre scrum to come. There, Leinster made a statement by obliterating their opponents for a penalty.

Doris just about held Rory Scannell by the ankles, Crowley probed with promise and O’Brien had to intervene to prevent a try before a stunning ruck clean-out by Crowley kept Munster in the right area.

There was still time enough for Leinster to stitch together the best move of the game, Ringrose’s offload the key to Doris putting replacement Russell over on the left to crown the victory.