Munster strengthened their grip on the Magners League title by defeating second-placed Leinster 22-5 before a raucous Thomond Park on Saturday night.

Ronan O’Gara had a fine game for the hosts, landing three penalties and a drop goal before Keith Earls underlined his status as one of the most exciting young backs in the northern hemisphere with a stunning try just after the hour.

Leinster responded through Gordon D’Arcy, the Ireland centre finishing off a superb attacking move from the visitors.

However, Munster deservedly had the final word, Barry Murphy racing away down the left flank before putting Denis Fogarty in for the simplest of finishes.

Munster: Paul Warwick; Doug Howlett, Keith Earls, Lifeimi Mafi, Ian Dowling; Ronan O'Gara, Tomás O'Leary; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes; Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell (capt); Alan Quinlan, Niall Ronan, David Wallace.
Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Tony Buckley, Mick O'Driscoll, Donncha Ryan, Peter Stringer, Brian Murphy, Denis Hurley.

Leinster: Girvan Dempsey; Isa Nacewa, Gordon D'Arcy, Shane Horgan, Rob Kearney; Felipe Contepomi, Chris Whitaker; Cian Healy, Bernard Jackman, Stan Wright; Leo Cullen (capt), Malcolm O'Kelly; Rocky Elsom, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements from: John Fogarty, Ollie le Roux, Ronan McCormack, Trevor Hogan, Cameron Jowitt, Sean O'Brien, Chris Keane, Jonathan Sexton, Simon Keogh.