WATCH: ‘Shades of ROG’ as Jack Crowley’s clutch drop goal sinks Leinster
We all know how the story goes, two points behind in the final knockings of the game, and Ronan O’Gara, sorry, Jack Crowley is in the pocket, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Crowley etched his name into Munster folklore at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday as he produced the match-winning moment to seal a place in the United Rugby Championship Final.
With four minutes left to play and Munster trailing Leinster 15-13 in Dublin, the visitors launched a counter-attack from inside their own half. The ball was whipped wide to Keith Earls, who stepped back in-field.
Jack Crowley’s clutch kick
Two phases later, Munster got it wide to the opposite wing before returning in-field. Another two phases later, Craig Casey was at the base of the rucks positioned in the middle of the pitch just inside the 22.
One final drive, Crowley slipped into the pocket and signalled to his scrum-half that he was set.
Casey delivered a pinpoint pass, and despite the efforts of on-rushing Ryan Baird, the fly-half cooly slotted the drop goal in O’Gara-esque fashion.
The ball sailed through the uprights and the stadium roared with cheers from the droves of Munster fans.
Crowley’s kick quickly drew comparisons to that of O’Gara, who had a knack for deciding big matches with his accurate boot.
The kick gave Munster a single-point lead with just over two minutes left to play. Graham Rowntree’s charges managed to hold out for the win, helped by the Leinster players being offside from the restart.
A classic interpro
Despite the low scoreline, it was a classic Irish interpro clash. Leinster led at 10-6 at the break thanks to a Jason Jenkins try before half-time and two Harry Byrne penalties, and a conversion.
Munster stayed within touching distance through two penalties from Ben Healy and went ahead early in the second half when Tadhg Beirne crashed over the line.
Joe McCarthy came off the bench and looked to have scored the try that would decide the match in the 63rd minute, but Ciaran Frawley’s missed conversion gave Munster a chance, which Crawley did not let slip.
Munster now head to Cape Town, where they will face the Stormers in the URC final on May 27.
READ MORE: Munster player ratings: Jack Crowley steers underdogs to victory over Leinster to claim URC final spot
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