Alex Kendellen takes exception to Harry Byrne reaction to lusty tackle
Nothing like a bit of jersey-grabbing and threat-throwing to liven up an end-of-season game.
Leinster went into this evening's United Rugby Championship clash with Munster having already secured top spot. However, lads like Harry Byrne and Scott Penny were hoping to impress, ahead of next Saturday's Champions Cup final.
Munster travelled up to the Aviva Stadium hunting a home quarter final, or better. Two points would secure the home tie in the URC knock-out stages, but a bonus point win would give them a chance at a home semi-final.
With Ryan Baird and Ciarán Frawley making big plays, Leinster hit the front through Penny's well-taken try. That was followed by a Byrne penalty.
2 nóim #LEIvMUN@leinsterrugby 5@Munsterrugby 0
A leithéid de thús do fhir Cúige Laighean 💥
Scott Penny scores a fast try for Leinster
+2 Harry Byrne #URC pic.twitter.com/NVLY9YPE3p
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) May 21, 2022
That made it 8-0 but Munster came roaring back. With the game not 10 minutes old, Jordan Larmour cleaned up a Joey Carbery grubber kick and was tackled out of play by Mike Haley, with Alex Kendellen laying in an extra hit for good measure.
Harry Byrne took exception to the extra dunt on his Leiunster teammate but was shoved into Kendellen, by Haley, as he sprinted in. That led to Kendellen grabbing a fistful of the outhalf's jersey and spinning him around. Barbs were exchanged until Penny bulled in to give Kendellen a piece of his mind.
Harry Byrne and Alex Kendellen swapping summer holiday plans... pic.twitter.com/wgbtYkHuvT
— Pat McCarry (@patmccarry) May 21, 2022
Munster answer back with two-try salvo
Referee Frank Murphy waited until both sides had blown enough hot air before resuming the game with a Munster lineout. No cards were shown, but the former Connacht scrumhalf gave out some stern words to both captains.
Munster scored, soon after, through Jack O'Donoghue and then hit the front when Haley dived over. Leinster responded with a Cormac Foley try after a super line break from Larmour. At half-time, the reigning league champions led by three points, but it was still all to play for.
Alex Kendellen and Harry Byrne may yet get re-acquainted on Ireland's summer tour to New Zealand, if Andy Farrell opts to bring them in his large squad.