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Ireland Under-21s On Song

Ireland Under-21s On Song

Mark McDermott’s Ireland Under-21 side turned the tables on Leinster ‘A’ on Tuesday, running in six tries for a heartening 40-12 win at Donnybrook.

…Ireland Under-21 flanker Ejike Uzoigwe competes with Leinster ‘A’ captain Simon Crawford for a lineout at Donnybrook…

Mark McDermott’s Ireland Under-21 side turned the tables on Leinster ‘A’ on Tuesday, running in six tries for a heartening 40-12 win at Donnybrook.

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LEINSTER ‘A’ 12 IRELAND UNDER-21 40, Donnybrook

Scorers: Leinster ‘A’: Tries: Jonny Hepworth, John Lyne; Con: Dave McAllister

Ireland U-21: Tries: Devin Toner, Conan Doyle, Peter Durcan, Darren Cave, Dale Black, Sean Cronin; Cons: Doyle 5

McDermott’s charges gained revenge for the 44-14 beating handed out to them by Leinster ‘A’ on December 30 with the ideal preparation for their U-21 Six Nations opener at home to Italy on February 3.

The Under-21s wasted little time in hitting the front – 10 minutes in, a close range drive from Devin Toner saw the 6ft 10in Lansdowne lock chalk up the first try, which Garryowen’s Conan Doyle added the extras to.

Galwegians’ Peter Durcan, who was lining out on the right wing, then blazed up the blindside to beat the Leinster cover and arch around behind the posts for number two. With Leinster lacking the cohesion of the first outing at Stradbrook, the Irish moved 28-0 in front by the 32nd-minute.

First, Belfast Harlequins centre Darren Cave touched down, and then turned provider when his delightful chip was followed up by Doyle for a well-judged score.

Rugby League convert Jonny Hepworth and Lansdowne prop John Lyne then replied with tries for Leinster ‘A’. Dave McAllister helped reduce the deficit by converting Lyne’s try, but the Under-21s made certain of victory in the final quarter when both replacement winger Dale Black of Dungannon and Shannon’s impressive young hooker Sean Cronin, who was also sprung from the bench, crossed the Leinster whitewash.

Cronin’s try was particularly impressive as he handed off Hepworth to race clear and score from over half-way.

IRELAND UNDER-21: 15 – Fionn Carr (Blackrock College); 14 – Peter Durcan (Galwegians), 13 – Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins), 12 – Fergus McFadden (UCD), 11 – Ian Hanly (UL Bohemians); 10 – Conan Doyle (Garryowen), 9 – Paul Marshall (Ballynahinch); 1 – Darragh Hurley (UCC), 2 – Stuart Philpott (Belfast Harlequins) (capt), 3 – Paul Doran-Jones (Dublin University), 4 – Dan Touhy (Gloucester/Hartpury College), 5 – Devin Toner (Lansdowne), 6 – Ross Noonan (UCC) , 7 – Ejike Uzoigwe (Hartpury College), 8 – Billy Holland (UCC).

Replacements used: Callum Black (Worcester Warriors/Hartpury College) for Hurley (22 mins), Dale Black (Dungannon) for Hanly, Sean O’Brien (UCD) for Holland, David Ryan (Highfield) for Doran-Jones (all 61), Diarmuid Laffin (Blackrock College) for Uzoigwe (65), Duncan Williams (UCC) for Marshall, David McGowan (Buccaneers) for Tuohy, Michael Essex (UCC) for Noonan, Sean Cronin (Shannon) for Philpott (all 75).

LEINSTER ‘A’: Ross McCarron; Stephen Grissing, Gary Brown, Dave McAllister, Brendan Burke; Jonny Hepworth, Brian O’Meara; John Lyne, Conor Geoghegan, Nick Duffy, Ben Gissing, Simon Crawford (capt), Alex Dunlop, Ciaran Potts, Kevin McLaughlin.

Replacements used: Killian O’Neill for Lyne (22 mins), Hugh Hogan for Potts (23), James Norton for Burke (31), Eoghan Hickey for McCarron (38), Robert Sweeney for Duffy, John Lyne for Geoghegan (both half-time), Ron Boucher for Crawford (53), Gavin O’Meara for O’Neill (61), Eoin Burke for McAllister (70).

Referee: Colin Stanley (IRFU)