…Munster And Leinster To Meet In U-18 Interpro Final…Ireland Backs On Form…Contepomi Still Top Of The Scoring Charts…Humphreys And Murphy Impress For Tigers’ Development Team…
MUNSTER AND LEINSTER TO MEET IN U-18 INTERPRO FINAL: The young rugby talents of Munster and Leinster will clash in the Under-18 Interprovincial final at Mullingar RFC next Saturday (kick-off tbc).
Munster, coached by Tom Mulcahy, got the better of Connacht at Cresent College Comprehensive on Saturday, beating the westerners 11-6 in their semi-final meeting. Sundays Well prop Michael Moynihan scored the only try of the game after 22 minutes.
Garryowen full-back Geoff Ryan kicked two penalties for Munster – Sean Joyce of Connemara matched his tally for Connacht.
In the weekend’s other semi-final, Leinster beat Ulster 33-14.
IRELAND BACKS ON FORM: Captain Brian O’Driscoll has not been the only Ireland back going through a patch of scoring form of late. Leinster’s running brand of rugby has certainly helped O’Driscoll (dislocated shoulder) and Denis Hickie (dislocated fibula) make encouraging returns to the fold after spells out with injury.
It may be the backs taking most of the plaudits, but that’s not forgetting Munster and Ireland lock Paul O’Connell – whose try-scoring exploits have been largely overshadowed by his excellent displays in the lineout and in the loose. Four tries in five games since coming back from a hand injury in late December is some return for the 6ft 6in Limerick man.
Shane Horgan (Leinster) – try v Munster (Dec 31), try v Glasgow (Jan 14), 2 tries v Bath (Jan 22) = 4 tries in 4 games
Paul O’Connell (Munster) – try v Connacht (Dec 27), try v Leinster (Dec 31), 2 tries v Castres (Jan 13) = 4 tries in 5 games
Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster) – 2 tries v Glasgow (Jan 14), try v Bath (Jan 22) = 3 tries in 4 games
Denis Hickie (Leinster) – try v Llanelli (Jan 7), try v Glasgow (Jan 14) = 2 tries in 3 games
Robert Kearney (Leinster) – 2 tries v Bourgoin (Dec 10), try v Bourgoin (Dec 17) = 3 tries in 5 games
Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster) – try v Bourgoin (Dec 10), try v Bourgoin (Dec 17), try v Ulster (Dec 26), try v Llanelli (Jan 7) = 4 tries in 7 games
Tommy Bowe (Ulster) – try v Munster (Dec 3), try v Saracens (Dec 17), try v Leinster (Dec 26) = 3 tries in 8 games
Andrew Trimble (Ulster) – try v Munster (Dec 3), 2 tries v Treviso (Jan 21) = 3 tries in 8 games
Girvan Dempsey (Leinster) – try v Connacht (Dec 3), try v Ulster (Dec 26), try v Glasgow (Jan 14) = 3 tries in 8 games
CONTEPOMI STILL TOP OF THE SCORING CHARTS: Leinster’s Argentinian fly half Felipe Contepomi is still top of the Heineken Cup scoring charts. The Puma star not only scored his sixth try in as many pool games in the province’s victory against Bath on Sunday, but he also managed a brilliant kicking display – converting all five Leinster tries from every type of angle.
Going into the knock-out stages in April, Contepomi will boast 104 points – that’s an average of just over 17 per game. The 28 -year-old has scored 6 tries, 19 conversions, 1 drop goal and 11 penalties in Leinster’s run to the quarter-finals.
Leicester’s Andy Goode is Contepomi’s nearest challenger on 87 points. Sale number 10 Charlie Hodgson is close behind on 84. Toulouse speedster Vincent Clerc is level with Contepomi (6) as the 2005/06 Heineken Cup’s top try-scorers.
Munster fly half Ronan O’Gara has scored 68 points in the competition to date – 16 conversions, 1 drop goal and 11 penalties. Ulster’s David Humphreys scored 38 points – 4 conversions and 10 penalties – in his five appearances in the competiton.
HUMPHREYS AND MURPHY IMPRESS FOR TIGERS’ DEVELOPMENT TEAM: On Monday night, two of Leicester Tigers’ Irish recruits impressed in a win for the Guinness Premiership club’s Development team against Saracens.
Leicester romped to a 54-21 win at Welford Road with Ireland Sevens international Ian Humphreys, younger brother of Ulster and Ireland fly half David, scoring two tries and kicking seven out of seven conversions for a 24-point personal haul.
Fly half Humphreys, who joined Leicester in the summer from Belfast Harlequins, was replaced after 71 minutes with Rob Springall failing to convert the eighth and final Tigers’ try.
There was also a solid performance from former Lansdowne winger Johnny Murphy, who was playing in the centre against Sarries. Just two minutes into the second half, the Naas man picked up the ball over halfway and showed searing pace to score a great solo try in the right corner.