For Edinburgh 2009, read Twickenham 2000.
There was a lot of talk in the build-up to last weekend's Croke Park epic about the extra pressure that comes from going up against your mates and the increased desire to get one over on them.
Now that Leinster have put Munster to the sword and both blades are back in the their sheaths, it might be worthwhile for Leo Cullen, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy and a few of the other Leinster lads to get on the blower to their Munster mates and get some advice.
Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer, John Hayes and David Wallace were all playing when Munster lost the Heineken Cup final 9-8 to Northampton in 2000. Alan Quinlan, Marcus Horan and Donncha O'Callaghan were there as squad members also, while Mick Galwey and Anthony Foley would also be willing to warn Leinster of the pitfalls to be avoided.
The parallels are there. Just like Munster nine years ago, Leinster are facing their first final against a gritty, battle-hardened English outfit. And again, it comes after a stunning semi-final victory over the best team in Europe, when they had been written off by all and sundry.
Following their win in 2000 over Toulouse in Bordeaux, it seemed as though Munster were destined to be crowned kings of Europe, and Leinster are also seemingly getting a boost from the hand of fate, given that a Heineken Cup title would provide perfect closure to a season when Irish rugby has mopped up everything in its path.
After the emotional high of downing the tournament favourites, Munster were unable to draw on the same emotional energy against the Saints in Twickenham and a famous meeting the night before the final is frequently referenced as being a huge inhibiting factor.
One by one, the Munster players stood up that evening and spoke about what winning the final would mean to them. The revelations were so raw and searingly honest that it ended up having a had a draining effect.
And there are parallels also between that Northampton side and the Leicester team that will face Leinster. If the Saints drew on the hard-edged experience of Tim Rodber and Pat Lam in 2000, the Tigers will look to Ben Kay and Lewis Moody on May 23, while Northampton's beast-like front row of Gary Pagel, Federico Mendez and Mattie Stewart was the equal of Leicester's Marcos Ayerza, George Chuter and Martin Castrogiovanni.
Furthermore, while Northampton had the wily elusiveness of Allan Bateman to call on, the Tigers have access to the enduringly excellent Geordan Murphy. But more than opposition personnel, the key for Leinster will be attitude and there were encouraging signs. Given the circumstances of a decade existing in Munster's shadow, of a long string of dismissive epithets flung in their direction, and the fact that they had been ‘justifiably‘ regarded as rank outsiders, it would be entirely understandable if Leinster had milked the occasion in front of their delirious supporters.
However, while the players did acknowledge their fans and shared a fair few embraces, there was a commendable ‘we've won nothing yet' attitude on display, notably from their key figures; captain Leo Cullen, Brian O'Driscoll and Michael Cheika.
Cheika was particularly impressive, cutting a relaxed and composed figure in the press conference when he hit all the right post-match notes. Given the pressure he was under going into the quarter-final win over Harlequins (when defeat would have led to
concerted calls for an early departure) Cheika could have been forgiven for having a pop at his detractors, particularly as his selection calls paid off.
Now, the challenge is to get his players up to the same level of psychological readiness for Murrayfield.
Frankie Sheahan, off to Brive next season after a long and distinguished Munster career, was understandably crestfallen after the match on Saturday, but the hooker was in no doubt as to why Leinster had won.
“Fear,” said Sheahan simply. “Leinster were terrified by the thought of losing again to Munster and it drove them on. It worked for us when Munster played the All Blacks last November, the fear of being humiliated.
“People say fear is an inhibiting factor but it can have the opposite effect and make you raise your game. Leinster were at a different level to Munster, and fair play to them, they deserved it.”
Can Leinster replicate that fear when they run out at Murrayfield? This time around, there will be no underdog tag to fall back on. Cheika's side will go in on an equal footing with Leicester, or as marginal favourites, just as Munster did back in 2000.
Leinster's journey to the final has been a bizarre combination of bold strides, backward staggers and sideway lurches. Saturday was very much in the ‘bold stride’ category and it’s brought them to the verge of glory. Now they must take the next, final step.