"Leinster Are Out" Jack Crowley Drop Goal Shocks the URC As Munster Reach Play-Off Final - Ruck

“Leinster Are Out” Jack Crowley Drop Goal Shocks the URC As Munster Reach Play-Off Final

Leinster’s hopes of United Rugby Championship silverware, were smashed to smithereens by a last-minute Munster drop goal. Jack Crowley’s three-pointer sent his side through to the 2023 URC Play-Off Final, with number-one ranked Leinster eliminated in the semi-final.


Munster will be joined in the final by the DHL Stormers on the 27th of May, as the two sides battle it out for the URC title. The Stormers finished second in the URC regular season, behind the competition favourites Leinster. Munster finished fifth, so the Stormers are now the highest ranked remaining side left.

This gives the South African side the unique privilege of hosting the URC Grand Final, with Munster set for a trip to Cape Town at the end of the month. The Stormers despatched Connacht 43-25 in their semi-final victory. This impressive performance solidified their spot in the final, and has raised the Stormers’ hopes of winning back-to-back URC titles.

SEMI-FINAL RECAP: Leinster 15 – 16 Munster

The Aviva Stadium hosted a phenomenal game of rugby, with the ultimate underdog story coming into fruition in Dublin. A 77th minute Jack Crowley drop goal came with no warning, as the Irish centre sent the Munster fans into a frenzy. Crowley’s heroics have already drew comparisons to the great Ronan O’Gara, as Crowley sent Munster into their first league final since the 2021 Pro14.

The recent memories of Leinster’s 2021 triumph, made this match-winning moment even sweeter for Munster fans. The Reds have not lifted a major title since the 2011 Magners Celtic League, which predates the Pro12, Pro14 and URC eras. The semi-final began with a cagey encounter of penalty goals, as Harry Byrne and Ben Healey kicked points on the board for both sides.

Leinster thought they had found an opening, yet Ryan Baird’s try was ruled out. Healey established a narrow three point Munster lead from the tee, before Jason Jenkins broke free of the defence, and muscled his way over the try-line for Leinster, and the first try of the match. Munster and Ireland lock Tadhg Beirne brought his side back into the lead, with a short drive claimed the crucial inches, after an exhausting series of phases.

Joe McCarthy produced a mirror image for Leinster, as he crawled over from close range, just after the hour mark. A vital missed conversion kept Leinster within touching distance, and another Munster penalty clawed them within two points of their Ireland rivals. Then in the closing minutes, Crowley produced a moment of magic with the winning drop goal, and sent Munster through to the 2023 United Rugby Championship Grand Final.

SEMI FINAL RECAP – DHL Stormers 43 – 25 Connacht

The fiery atmosphere lit up this South African hosted semi-final, as the Stormers welcomed Connacht to the DHL Stadium. The visitors felt right at home, and showcased this by being first to get over their opposition’s try-line. Ireland winger Mack Hansen dived in to wrap up a hot start for Connacht, and stun a bizarre silence amongst the Stormers fans.

The Stormers responded by the boot of Mannie Libbok, who’s cross-field kick fell perfectly for Angelo Davies to score out wide. Libbok then followed this up with two back-to-back tries of his own, as the Stormers bgan to pull away from their Irish opposition. The fly half touched down under the posts to an eruption of support for his first, and the plaudits for his second try must go to Angelo Davis’ outstanding run and assist.

Connacht fought back to keep themselves in the contest, with a try from Joe Batley narrowing the gap before the break. The following conversion was cut short, as a Stormers player read the hesitant run up and stole the ball of the kicking tee before any extra points could be added. Connacht carried this momentum into the second half with an early score, and narrowed the deficit to just 24-20 on the hour mark.

Yet the matches’ closing quarter saw Stormers hit top gear, and take the contest out of the grasp of Connacht. Marcel Theunissen and Ruhan Nel closed out the game with two additional tries for the Stormers, and sealed their place in the URC Grand Final for a second consecutive year.