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Ulster Come Good In ‘A’ Game

Ulster Come Good In ‘A’ Game

The Leinster ‘A’ and Ulster ‘A’ teams shared out six tries at Donnybrook on Monday afternoon but out-half Niall O’Connor’s kicking contribution of 16 points proved crucial as the visitors chalked up a 31-20 win.

‘A’ INTERPROVINCIAL MATCH: Monday, December 29

LEINSTER ‘A’ 20 ULSTER ‘A’ 31, Donnybrook

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Scorers: Leinster ‘A’: Tries: Fergus McFadden, Paul O’Donohoe, Mark Flanagan; Con: Fergus McFadden; Pen: Fergus McFadden

Ulster ‘A’: Tries: Chris Cochrane 2, Ian Whitten; Cons: Niall O’Connor 2; Pens: Niall O’Connor 4

Chris Cochrane got Ulster ‘A’ off to a strong start with the first of his two tries in the second minute, converted by Niall O’Connor.

That early concession stung Leinster into a reply and they were rewarded five minutes later when a superb break from Jason Harris-Wright found Fergus McFadden who came close to scoring.

But then Paul O’Donohoe snuck around the corner of the ensuing ruck to reduce the deficit to two points.

O’Connor added penalty goals to his side’s tally after 9 and 19 minutes before McFadden capitalised on a Niall Morris kick to pounce for a try.

Jonathan Sexton’s conversion fell marginally wide of the uprights in the 37th minute and Cochrane was again on hand on the stroke of half-time to push Ulster ahead.

O’Connor added the extras, while McFadden added an injury-time penalty for Leinster ‘A’ to leave the scoreline at 20-13 in Ulster’s favour at the interval.

Second row Mark Flanagan touched down for Leinster in the 42nd minute, with McFadden converting, to level the scores but two more O’Connor penalties and a 55th minute Ian Whitten try gave Ulster ‘A’ the win.

LEINSTER ‘A’: Felix Jones; Gary Brown, Eoin O’Malley, Fergus McFadden, Niall Morris; Jonathan Sexton, Paul O’Donohoe; Ruaidhri Murphy, Jason Harris Wright, Jamie Hagan, Conor McInerney, Mark Flanagan, John Dever, Paul Ryan, Kevin McLaughlin (capt).

Replacements used: Royce Burke-Flynn for Murphy, James Power for Sexton (both half-time), Richie Sweeney for Harris Wright (54 mins), Shane Monahan for Morris (58), Kevin Sheahan for Dever, David Moore for O’Donohoe, Kyle Tonetti for O’Malley (all 62), Cian Aherne for Brown (67), John Downey for Flanagan (77).

ULSTER ‘A’: Mark McCrea; Jamie Smith, Ian Whitten, Rob Dewey, Chris Cochrane; Niall O’Connor, Ian Porter; Bryan Young, Nigel Brady, Declan Fitzpatrick, James Sandford, Filo Paulo, Thomas Anderson, Willie Faloon, Chris Henry.

Replacements used: Stuart Philpott for Brady (half-time), Daniel Roche for Young (51 mins), Jarlath Carey for Anderson (59), Chris Napier for J Sandford (62), David Drake for Porter (66).

Referee: Alan Rogan (IRFU)